For months now there’s been speculation about whether the Angels will fire general manager Jerry Dipoto and/or manager Mike Scioscia, with the assumption being that Dipoto was the more likely to go.
When asked about his job status yesterday Dipoto declined to answer, telling Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times: “I’m not going to get into it. I don’t want to have this conversation.”
Dipoto has one year remaining on his contract, but that’s nothing compared to the five years and $27 million left on Scioscia’s deal. DiGiovanna writes that “Dipoto is more vulnerable than Scioscia” and a decision from owner Arte Moreno is expected early next week.
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.