Your team — the one team in the NL West some people said could give the Dodgers a race — is 16.5 games back. You’ve come off two .500 years in a row that were, based on the year before that, disappointments. Your managerial style has been widely criticized and there is no small amount of evidence that said style has driven players away who have flourished elsewhere. Plus, you’re getting a rep for being dirty, frankly. What does that earn you?
Apparently it gets your option year picked up.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Diamondbacks are planning to bring manager Kirk Gibson back for 2015. No official word yet and no word about the status of Kevin Towers. But Nightengale thinks that Tony La Russa is leaning in the direction of giving Gibby another go.
Hey, their team. They can do what they wanna.
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.