Yesterday the New York Daily News continued its quixotic quest to put A-Rod into some phony insurance fraud retirement. Meanwhile, in Scranton, Alex Rodriguez was busy hitting a home run:
It was a vintage A-Rod moment.
Alex Rodriguez strode to the plate in the third inning, his at-bat soundtracked by a mixture of loud applause and loud-enough derisive comments from the PNC Field crowd. Ever the polarizing figure . . . even in a Triple-A rehab stint.
Then Rodriguez delivered.
He launched a 1-and-2 offering over the right-centerfield wall for a two-run homer and was showered with cheers.
It was his second rehab home run. His first at Triple-A. After the game Rodriguez said he felt “pretty good.” He has three rehab games to go. And, as reported yesterday, is expected to rejoin the Yankees on Monday.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.