Credit to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian for that amazing quote from Indians first baseman Nick Swisher. It’s just the most Nick Swisher quote. Well, maybe if he started off the sentence with “bro”.
To Swisher’s credit, he has had a good couple of days against the Mets. He hit a grand slam yesterday against lefty reliever Tim Byrdak, then swatted a two-run homer in the second inning today against starter Jon Niese. Overall this season, he hasn’t quite been the Swisher we have come to know and accept, as his OPS was down to .733 entering today’s game. But he’s been worth the $11 million they will have paid him over the entirety of the season, the first year of a four-year, $56 million contract signed last December.
The Indians’ 9-4 victory today over the Mets, paired with the Tigers’ 4-3 loss to the Royals, moves them 5.5 games out of first place. Winners of four in a row, Swisher and the Tribe will go for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon.
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.