When Tony La Russa was hired by the Dbacks over the weekend, a lot of people’s first thought was “welp, Kevin Towers is probably a goner.” There has been the suggestion that no changes are imminent, but no one has given Towers a vote of confidence either. Into that vacuum comes various people around baseball speculating as to who is gonna take his job. Gammons:
Who knows if LaRocque is going to take the job — or even if there will be a job to take — but it’s inescapable that the Dbacks hired La Russa to create an organization in Arizona akin to the one he left in St. Louis: a deep system, a coherent organizational philosophy and a consistent winner without going too crazy in the payroll department.
Why wouldn’t you hire a Cardinals guy to do that?
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.