Pirates lighting candles over McLouth trade

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I liked last week’s Nate McLouth trade
better from the Braves’ point of view and felt that the Pirates didn’t
get a particularly good package of prospects in return, so it’s tough
to blame his ex-teammates in Pittsburgh for being upset about McLouth’s
departure.

With that said, their collective reaction might be just a bit over the top. For instance, here’s Adam LaRoche on the trade:

It’s kind of like being with your platoon in a battle, and guys keep
dropping around you. You keep hanging on, hanging on, and you’ve got to
figure: How much longer till you sink?

And here’s how Dejan Kovacevic the Pittsburgh Post Gazette described the clubhouse scene:

In one corner of the Pirates’ clubhouse at PNC Park, the small,
circular metal table between the stalls of relievers Sean Burnett and
Jesse Chavez had a candle lit atop it, adorned by the No. 13 of Nate
McLouth and an accompanying photo of him in full uniform.

McLouth was well-liked by teammates and is certainly a solid player,
but at the end of the day we’re talking about lighting candles, laying
out pictures, and comparing the trade to losing platoon-mates in battle
because a non-contending team dealt a career .260/.339/.460 hitter for
some prospects in the hopes of stockpiling enough talent to eventually
have a winning season for the first time since 1992.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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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.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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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.