Jason Giambi replaces Todd Helton in Game 3

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When the Rockies re-signed Jason Giambi in January they talked about wanting to work him into the lineup by giving 36-year-old Todd Helton more frequent days off and sure enough he’s already getting a rest in Game 3 this afternoon.
It seems kind of silly that someone would need a day off less than a week into the season, but my guess is that manager Jim Tracy decided to sit Helton so in early in large part because he wants to get Giambi and everyone else involved in at least one game right away.
In other words, while Helton will no doubt be on the bench more often this season don’t expect Giambi to replace him every few games. Particularly once the Rockies get a lengthy look at his defense at first base after using him almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter last season. Another issue that is Helton and Giambi are both left-handed hitters, so they don’t form a natural platoon.
This afternoon Giambi is batting cleanup against left-hander Doug Davis.

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.