It’s gross in Houston a lot of the time. As such, the Astros only had their roof open at Minute Maid Park 14 of 81 home games last year. They’d like to open it more, reports Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. Specifically, they’d like to be able to open it up mid-game, after the sun goes down and it cools off a tad. Which is something they used to do but ceased doing in 2005 for some reason.
What seems nuts to me are the listed parameters for when the roof can and can’t be open there:
Currently, the roof is closed for the threat of rain, threat of sustained winds above 30 mph, temperatures below 65 degrees for a night game and air temperature or heat-index readings above 88 degrees for a night game or 84 for a day game — which just about covers late April through the end of the season.
I get the rain, wind and heat, but … below 65 degrees? I know Texans don’t do cold very well but, man, that seems particularly weak.
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.