Selig: baseball will be better off if Albert Pujols stays in St. Louis

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Bud Selig spoke about a lot of stuff during his news conference yesterday. Here’s one that seemed to fall through the cracks, but which is being reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

“I was talking once with Robin Yount and George Brett and said they were getting to be the exceptions (players who stayed in one place). But they were such big parts of their communities. Their communities were better off that they stayed. And the players said they were better off, too. So, yes, baseball would be better with Albert in St. Louis.”

I don’t know that I disagree, but it is rather strange to hear the Commissioner opine on such things.

This, by the way, is why baseball needs more heel-turns. If I was Tom Ricketts, I’d hold a press conference tomorrow talking about how I was going to ruin baseball next winter. I’d keep it vague so as not to be seen as tampering with another team’s players, but I’d definitely own the evil.

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.