Jason Bay still holding out hope to return this season

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It’s not all bad news for the Mets. According to Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star-Ledger, Jason Bay told reporters on Friday that he is still hoping to return this season.

“I haven’t had a headache in about a week — four or five days,” the Mets
left fielder said prior to Friday night’s game against the Phillies.
“I’ve just kind of been taking it slow. I feel great. Now it’s just
getting back into shape and not trying to do it all at once and get
yourself set back.”

He plans to start swinging a bat within the next few days, which will be his first baseball activity since going on the disabled list with a concussion at the end of July. Bay said he intends to play again this season, even if he only has the chance to play for one week.

Bay still has to get back into baseball shape, so the clock is ticking, but his sense of humor is still as sharp as ever. Here’s what he had to say when he was asked if he was going to have any issues with bright lights or loud noises at the ballpark.

“I’m OK with that stuff,” Bay said. “A lot of that wasn’t the issue. It
was more the headaches and more headaches from exertion. I’m Canadian,
so bright lights bother me anyway.”

Don’t worry, Jason. By the time the Mets finish up the season with a seven-game homestand against the Brewers and Nationals, Citi Field will probably be the quietest place on Earth.

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.