Checking in with Bernie Williams

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Tyler Kepner caught up with Bernie Williams over the weekend and found that the guy is keeping busy:

These are busy days for Williams, who performs on Monday at
Feinstein’s at Loews Regency on Park Avenue in Manhattan to benefit “Ed
Randall’s Bat for the Cure,” which fights prostate cancer. Williams also appeared at the New York Baseball Writers’ dinner over
the weekend, presenting an award to Mariano Rivera, who was being
honored as the Toast of the Town.

I really don’t care that much about Bernie Williams’ social calendar. I simply link this out of glee that, for the first time in living memory, the spring isn’t starting with one of those “Bernie Williams still thinks he can play and wants an invite to spring training” articles, which always made me kind of sad.

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.