OK, maybe Andre Ethier won't be back on Sunday

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andre ethier headshot dodgers.jpgYesterday we passed along world that Dodgers righfielder Andre Ethier was likely to make his return on Sunday, his first day eligible following his DL stint.  Not so fast says Joe Torre: the Dodgers may send Ethier on a minor league rehab assignment first, delaying his return to L.A.

The reasoning on this is kind of surprising. Apparently Torre watched Rafael Furcal come back from his injury on Tuesday night, when he went 0-4 with two errors, and thought that he didn’t want to see that kind of rust on Ethier.  Of course Furcal spent a month on the DL, he’s older, he plays a harder defensive position and he’s, you know, not as good.

But hey, the Dodgers are winning and Joe Torre is the guy with all the World Series rings, so I suppose he gets the call when it comes to this sort of thing.

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.