Cards' Franklin likely to retire after the 2011 season

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Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Strauss on Saturday that he’s likely to hang up his cleats after the 2011 season.

It makes sense, really.  Franklin signed a two-year, $6.5 million extension this offseason, so he won’t be skipping out on a contract.  He will also be 38 at that point and has obviously been paying attention to Trevor Hoffman’s struggles with old age.

“I’ve talked to guys who have retired. And they say to play as long as
they let you,” Franklin told the Post-Dispatch. “But right now I just don’t see that for
me. If I have a good year next year, somebody is going to have to throw
some serious money at me to make me stick around for a one-year deal.”

Franklin is married with three kids and owns a large plot of hunting
land outside of Oklahoma City, where he makes his offseason home.  He
hopes to further develop the nearly 700 acres once he retires.

For now, he’s getting the job done in St. Louis with the same impressive consistency that he showed over the first five months of the 2009 season.  As of Sunday morning, he boasts a 2.40 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP and 13 saves in 14 chances.  The Cardinals sit atop the National League Central standings with a 38-30 record.

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.