NBC SportsTalk: The Montero-Pineda trade

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I was on NBC SportsTalk last night, talking with my buddy Russ Thaler about the Jesus Montero-Michael Pineda trade. Video below.  Watch for the moment when I called Jose Campos “that fireballer” because my brain locked and I was terrified that I was going to call him “Jorge Campos” and knew that wasn’t right but didn’t think fast enough to be certain.  Ah, live TV!

Not in the video: Russ and I talking beforehand about how that trade was not leaked at all by anyone and how the Yankees always seem to keep that kind of info under wraps. It’s uncanny.

My first theory: fear! They are the Evil Empire, after all, and maybe they have people randomly killed if they leak stuff to the press.  More likely: decision making is done by a really small group of people in the Bronx, and there thus aren’t a lot of assistant GMs and secretaries to the whoever floating around important phone calls, thereby preventing leaks.

Eh, it’s a theory.

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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.