Jason Giambi now a “legitimate” candidate for Rockies gig

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Troy Renck, beat writer for the Denver Post, provides the scoop:

There are no misperceptions of his intentions. Jason Giambi wants to become the next manager of the Rockies.

He is willing to retire as a player to make this happen. He is willing to work within the framework of baseball’s most unusual infrastructure.

Giambi’s candidacy went from intriguing to legitimate after his impressive interview Thursday. He is expected to have another meeting, likely with general manager Dan O’Dowd and owner Dick Monfort.

Renck says the Rockies “aren’t even sure they will look at outside candidates anymore” because of how well Giambi has been received.

This all may seem a bit odd, but consider that the Cardinals’ Mike Matheny — who entered the season without a lick of managerial experience — has guided his team to within one victory of the World Series.

And Matheny’s hitting coach, Mark McGwire, is an admitted former steroid user just like Giambi.

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.