The Rangers financial woes shouldn't hurt them in 2009

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I’ve made a lot recently
about the Rangers’ financial troubles. In light of them, my first
thought was what a shame it would be if those troubles prevented the
Rangers from making the sorts of moves they’ll need to make to stay in
the NL AL West race this season (sorry; I didn’t get much sleep last night). Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News makes a good point about that, however:

I think it’s pretty obvious, however, that with so much having been
made of this team’s No. 1-ranked farm system and an all-but-established
target of 2010 as the time to pursue the playoffs, the Rangers won’t be
big players at the trade deadline.

If help comes, it could be from the bats of Josh Hamilton, finishing
his rehab in Oklahoma, or top hitting prospect Justin Smoak, just
promoted to Triple-A from Frisco.

If there is bullpen help to be found, it could be top pitching
prospect Neftali Feliz, recently moved out of the rotation, carrying
the kind of role Tampa Bay’s starter Saturday night, former No. 1
overall pick David Price, performed for the Rays last September and
October.

Behold the power of a strong farm system. Also behold the weakness of
not living on the west coast: the first place Rangers and Angels face
off in a three game series this week — with Josh Hamilton back in tow for Texas — but most of us back east won’t get to see it due to the late hour. Sigh.

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.