Don’t read the Cardinals last rites just yet

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I know the Cardinals are crumbling like a cookie right now, but there is hope in store. The upcoming schedule:

Four games against the equally crumbling Dodgers;

  • Three games against the Houston LoLStros;
  • Three games against the Chicago Cubs; and
  • Three more games against the LoLStros again.

Yes, they end against the Nationals and the Reds,* but both of those teams will have long since clinched by then and should be resting starters.

The Phillies and Brewers can charge all they want, but I think the Cardinals still have a great shot.

*I originally omitted the Reds from the Cardinals schedule. I’m sure they would like to do that too, but alas, they have to play the games.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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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

Kent Horner/Getty Images
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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.