Astros remove gun from Colt .45s throwback uniforms

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The Astros are celebrating their 50th anniversary this season, so they plan to honor their past by wearing a different throwback uniform at every Friday home game. The first “Flashback Friday” will feature the Colt .45s, which was the name of the franchise for the first three years of its existence.

Sweet. Those were some pretty awesome uniforms. The only problem is, MLB nixed including the gun in the logo.

According to Paul Lukas of the Uni Watch blog, Astros fan James Crabtree wrote a letter to commissioner Bud Selig about the issue and this is the response he got from Mike Acosta, the Astros’ authentication manager:

“During our discussion with Major League Baseball, it was expressed to us that we could wear the uniform as long as the pistol was removed. We realize this changes the original design, but we still want to honor the Colt .45s. We are also under an obligation to follow Major League Baseball’s requests.”

Oof. The weird thing about this is that when the Astros originally announced plans for “Flashback Friday” last September, they had the old Colt .45s uni featured front and center. Apparently something changed over the past few months.

There was some discussion about whether the Colt .45s was appropriate back when new Astros owner Jim Crane mentioned that they had considered changing the team’s name. The world is a very different place now than it was when the franchise debuted in 1962, so obviously the same name and logo wouldn’t work today, but completely altering the design for one game is a bit overboard.

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.