Ryan Braun, Scott Feldman honored

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And you thought the awards season was over:

Professional baseball stars Ryan Braun and Scott Feldman received
off-season honors December 23, getting named the Most Valuable Jewish
Players of the Year by an organization dedicated to celebrating Jews in
the national pastime.

Jewish Major Leaguers, a
Newton, Mass., not-for-profit, selected Braun as its player of the year
and Feldman as its pitcher of the year. This is the second time the
organization has awarded the titles. (Players honored by Jewish Major
Leaguers must identify as Jewish and have a Jewish parent, or be
converts.)

I’m struggling to think of one reason why the organization doesn’t call their hitter of the year honor “The Hank Greenberg Award” and their pitcher of the year honor “The Sandy Koufax Award.”  They’d certainly get a lot more press if they did. Maybe there are some legal implications here. I wouldn’t know. The State of Ohio just sent me my letter officially designating me an “inactive” lawyer now that I’ve left my legal practice. Going forward, if I pretend to know anything about the law I’m probably violating some ethical rules or something.

Anyway, a hearty Mazel Tov to Messers. Braun and Feldman.

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.