Cole Hamels gave an interview to Philadelphia magazine back in September for a story about his wife and CSNPhilly.com put together some interesting tidbits, including this about the vibe in the Phillies’ clubhouse during their 89-loss season:
The energy in the clubhouse changed. It used to be all high fives. This season, there weren’t as many high fives. There was a lot of bitterness, pointing fingers–“You haven’t played well in a week, why weren’t you in here early?”
Hamels also noted that “you have to know when to start over” with an aging roster, which is interesting considering since his interview the Phillies have added 36-year-old Marlon Byrd and re-signed 35-year-old Carlos Ruiz.
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.