OK, that’s a slight exaggeration. It was technically a fly to the outfield — Jon Jay caught it — but it was no more than 20-30 feet beyond the infield dirt. No one scores on a ball that shallow. But Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton did. And he didn’t even look like he was going all-out to do it.
The Reds broadcast of the game said it took Hamilton at 3.2 seconds to go from a dead stop tag-up at 3rd base to home plate. Which, wow, maybe he was going all-out and just didn’t look like he was.
Worth noting that the whole way around the bases was special for Hamilton. He singled, stole second, moved to third on shallow fly ball to right and then came home on this play.
Hamilton needs to get on base more than he does to become a truly effective player, but the man has rockets strapped to his ankles.
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.