Bill Neukom out as Giants CEO; new guy says payroll, priorities staying the same

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As was reported last night, Bill Neukom was forced out as the Giants CEO and he was replaced today by Larry Baer.  There was a press conference about all of this earlier this afternoon and Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com was there to cover it.  The highlights:

  • Although the original reports of the ownership group’s displeasure with Neukom (that he didn’t communicate well with the other owners and that they learned about stuff in the newspaper first) were downplayed, they weren’t denied, either.  No one said Neukom was “forced out,” but no one said he wasn’t either (Neukom quibbled with that characterization). Which, if you’ve been around business people for any amount of time in your life means that (a) there were communication problems; and (b) he was forced out;
  • Payroll is not going to go down.  This doesn’t mean it will go up, but it’s not going down; and
  • There will be no change in the Giants’ views about the A’s in San Jose. Meaning: the Giants still don’t want the A’s in San Jose.
  • Neukom is divesting his ownership interest. Which is sort of what happens when a guy gets shoved aside by his partners.

As a whole, this sounds like a primarily internal thing. It doesn’t sound like the ownership group had grave issues with what Neukom was doing in any way that will affect the fan experience.

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.