We all have to change our “days since Elijah Dukes was arrested” signs back to zero:
Former Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes was arrested early Thursday after he tried to eat a plastic bag of marijuana and had marijuana blunt tucked behind his ear, police said … He faces charges of tampering with physical evidence, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a cancelled, suspended or revoked license. He was also being held on two Hillsborough County warrants for driving with a suspended knowledge and operating with a suspended or revoked driver’s license.
Such a shame. He almost made it a year since his last arrest.
In other news, Dukes is 27 and, in an alternate universe, he’s anchoring the middle of the order for the two-time defending champion Rays.
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.
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.