Joakim Soria wants a new nickname

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Joakim Soria is smart for at least two reasons. First: he understands that one cannot choose one’s own nickname.  Second, he understands that being called “Mexicutioner” is a pretty tough thing these days given all of the execution-style killings going down in his native Mexico.  In light of this, he offered a plea this morning:

how about if we change my nickname to something positive? in support to mexico to stop all the violence !!!

I’m not a big fan of sports-as-symbolism — I thought it was tremendously weak when the Washington Bullets changed their name to the Wizards — but I understand how this is different to Soria.  It’s a personal appellation for one thing, not a team name.  It’s also way more on-the-nose with respect to the violence in Mexico than “Bullets” was to violence in D.C. in the mid-90s.  And at least “Bullets” had a different intention (i.e. “faster than a speeding …”).  I totally get his discomfort and I’m on board with him wanting to have it changed.

But what it gets changed to is kind of up to us, isn’t it?  I don’t know that I have any ideas that he’d actually be cool with.  Most that spring to mind have to do with him being the lone elite talent on the Royals, and something tells me that he wouldn’t get on board with that sort of thing.

Ideas in the thread.  Nickname dissemination is an inexact science, but I’ll try to get the best one trending and maybe it will stick.

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.