Justin Morneau caught the first plane that he could after learning he had been traded to the Pirates on Saturday afternoon, but the Twins were down in Arlington, Texas and the first baseman didn’t make it to Pittsburgh’s PNC Park in time for the start of Saturday night’s game against the Cardinals. Instead he showed up in the Bucs’ dugout — bats and glove in hand — just before the top of the sixth inning.
Watch him greet his new manager, Clint Hurdle, the Pirates’ training staff and some of his new Bucs teammates — including old Twins teammate Francisco Liriano:
The Pirates beat St. Louis 7-1 and now boast a one-game lead in the National League Central.
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.