Awful Announcing crunched the numbers for nationally televised games in April. Hope you like the Yankees and Red Sox:
No less than 17 Yankee games will be airing on ESPN, MLB Network, and Fox Sports 1 in April – that’s 63% of their 27 game April schedule. Not to be outdone, the Red Sox will have 15 of their 28 April (and Opening Day on March 31st) games on those same national networks – that’s a cool 54%.
I get it. They draw ratings. And unless you can think of a better way for the networks which broadcast baseball to make money other than by getting the highest ratings, there’s not a great argument against this. At least a great objective one.
Subjectively? It gets to the point pretty early in the season where, if I see the Yankees or Red Sox on TV, I watch something else, because I’m sick of them. I’m obviously outnumbered in this regard, but that’s the way I feel.
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.