The first Spring Training workout dates, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads, has been released for all 30 of the Major League clubs.
Pitchers for every team except the Nationals and Dodgers report on either February 14 or 15. The Nats and Dodgers pitchers and catchers have to report by February 16. I can only assume that it’s because the Nats and Dodgers are old and they need more time because they all drive ten miles per hour under the speed limit.
The Dodgers and Rangers have the latest full-squad workout days too — February 21. I’ll think of a funny reason for that later. The first player who played for both of those teams that popped into my head is Milton Bradley and he’s not funny at all, so let’s just put a pin in that for now.
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.