If Robinson Cano plays in the WBC it’ll be for the Dominican Republic

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Robinson Cano’s U.S. citizenship is brand spankin’ new, but if he decides to play in the World Baseball Classic, it’ll be for the Dominican Republic.  He spoke to Mark Feinsand of the Daily News:

“I still have to play for the Dominican, even if I didn’t want to,” the Yankee second baseman said while letting out a hearty laugh. “If I played for the U.S., I don’t think they would ever let me come home. You saw what happened with Alex (Rodriguez); a lot of people got upset in the Dominican when he played for the U.S.”

I think people would have given A-Rod crap no matter who he played for. He could have been born and raised in Myanmar, never have left and then one day showed up on the scene as a ballplayer and people’s sense about him would still be to criticize him. And even those of us who defend him would be like “well, damn, it’s A-Rod. He brings this on himself.”

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.