After coming out to a standing ovation, Derek Jeter went 0-for-2 Thursday in the first appearance of his farewell season.
Jeter, who announced his retirement earlier this month, played his scheduled five innings at shortstop before leaving the game against the Pirates. He grounded into a double play his first time up against sinkerballer Charlie Morton and grounded out to third versus left-hander Jeff Locke in his second plate appearance, but he ran well both times. Jeter was limited to 17 games by leg injuries last year after breaking his ankle in the 2012 postseason.
Jeter hit second behind Brett Gardner in this one. He’s expected to remain in that spot in the regular season, though he’ll be batting behind Jacoby Ellsbury most of the time then.
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.