La Russa: Albert Pujols has been “in pain” since signing with the Angels

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Here’s an empathy test for you, Cardinals fans: Tony La Russa says that Albert Pujols has been “in pain” since signing his deal with the Angels last week:

La Russa said Pujols has been “in pain” since he accepted the Los Angeles Angels’ 10-year, $254-million offer. “I know it was a painful decision and it pains him now,” La Russa said.

As you might expect, La Russa is being diplomatic here. He doesn’t call out the Cardinals for not being more aggressive, but you can sort of tell that that’s the “pain” on Pujols’ part that he’s trying to communicate.

Either way: $254 million buys something like 30 million extra large bottles of ibuprofen, so I guess Albert’s good.

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.