This is why players practice

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Nasty winds swirled in Lakeland yesterday for the Tigers’ exhibition against Florida Southern:

The Tigers scored more runs than their traditional local opponent, but it was the wind that actually won Tuesday. Because it was the wind that blew a fly ball into Brennan Boesch’s face, causing a
nasty laceration that required stitches above the outfield prospect’s
left eye.

“It opened him up pretty good,” said starting pitcher Phil Coke, who saw Boesch in the trainer’s room.

Eleven stitches, according to Tom Gage, which is not a good thing to have happen on your first day of competitive baseball of the year.  Still, there was something cool from yesterday’s game, as Al Kaline’s grandson Colin Kaline hit two singles and a walk.  He’s a junior at Florida Southern.

Which means that he’s probably a year or two older than Kaline was when he won the 1955 batting title.

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.