First-time manager Brad Ausmus’ coaching staff will include Omar Vizquel, who’s joining the Tigers as a first base coach.
Vizquel immediately went into coaching following 24 seasons in the majors, spending this year as a roving minor league infield instructor for the Angels. Now he joins Ausmus’ staff, which includes veteran bench coach Gene Lamont, who’s a holdover from Jim Leyland’s regime.
Vizquel debuted in 1989 and played 24 seasons and Ausmus debuted in 1993 and played 18 seasons, but somehow they managed to never be teammates. And now that Vizquel is on a big-league coach staff at age 46, it seems like only a matter of time before he becomes a manager.
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.