Mike Quade expects to be back as Cubs manager

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Aramis Ramirez is “ready to move on” from the Cubs, but Mike Quade said today that he expects to return as Chicago’s manager in 2012 despite a 68-87 record.

Quade got the full-time job after taking over for Lou Piniella last season and going 24-13 down the stretch as interim manager, and he’s at least got the Cubs playing .500 ball since the All-Star break.

“I plan to be back and I plan to do a good job next year,” Quade told Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. “That’s he way I look at things. There’s no other way to look at it. Why would I look at it any other way?”

Of course, Muskat notes that Quade has yet to discuss his future with owner Tom Ricketts and there’s a pretty good chance the person hired as general manager will want to bring in his own manager. Quade is under contract for next season, but his future is very much up in the air.

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.