UPDATE: Roy Oswalt has left the Phillies due to tornadoes near his home in Mississippi. Again.

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3:03 PM:  The Phillies have just announced that Oswalt left the team due to concern regarding his family back home due to tornadoes in the area over the past several days.  There was some confusion on this earlier because it was almost exactly a year ago that Oswalt had to leave the Astros following the destruction of his boyhood home in Mississippi.  Here’s Ruben Amaro’s statement:

“There has been a tremendous amount of tornado activity near Roy’s home in Mississippi resulting in several tragic deaths and significant devastation to the area.  Because of this, Roy is concerned about his family’s well-being.  He has chosen to take time to make sure there wasn’t significant damage to his home, but more importantly, to make certain that his wife and children are okay.  It is almost a year to the day that his parents’ home was destroyed by a tornado which has heightened his concern about the current situation.We are hopeful that he will rejoin the team for his next start, but will take that day by day.”

His next start is not scheduled until next Tuesday, so there is hope that he will be back with the team by then. He could, thanks to offdays, go as late as May 7th if need be.

Here’s hoping his family is OK. And that Mother effing Nature will start steering tornadoes away from Oswalt’s neck of the woods. They’ve had enough.

1:18 PM: No details on this at the moment, but here’s Matt Gelb from the Philly Inquirer on Roy Oswalt:

A Phillies official says Roy Oswalt has left the team for personal reasons. No expected return date. Oswalt was not removed from the game for those personal reasons. He was taken out by Manuel because of his ineffectiveness.

There aren’t many things that could cause this that would constitute good news.  We’ll obviously update when more is learned.

UPDATE: Jim Salisbury’s story at CSN Philly fills in some details, including a lot of time on the phone and stuff for Oswalt before the game.  Could be his poor performance last night was because he was distracted?

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.