Brewers just barely pretending that Livan Hernandez is still a pitcher

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There’s a long story about all the things Livan Hernandez brings to the Brewers in today’s Journal-Sentinel.

There’s an extended bit about how he’s jovial and well-liked and can help hitters figure out how pitchers pitch them and stuff. Normally such a person is called a coach, but that’s OK.  But really, Doug Melvin, tell us about Livan’s pitching prowess:

“He’s a veteran guy who can take the ball,” said general manager Doug Melvin. “He can take the abuse if he has to on certain nights, but we also think he can get people out. He gives you a little bit different look for our bullpen, too.”

Parsing:

He’s a veteran guy: “That’s a factual statement. I would technically be lying if I claimed Hernandez to be a rookie.”

Who can take the ball: “He is not insubordinate and has at least one hand.”

He can take the abuse if he has to on certain nights: “On other nights he can’t take the inevitable abuse he will receive. Really, it’s about coping for him.”

But we also think he can get people out: “It’s a bonus if he does the one job the pitcher is supposed to do. Gravy, really.”

He gives you a little bit different look for our bullpen, too: “Indeed, we haven’t had anyone with his distinct look since we sent Bob Wickman away in the Richie Sexson deal.”

After the interview, Melvin found the media relations guy and fined him $50 for making him actually answer questions about the value a castoff mopup man brings to the team.

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.