Phillies sign Humberto Quintero to minor league contract

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From Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com comes word that the Phillies have signed catcher Humberto Quintero to a minor league contract. The agreement also comes with an invitation to spring training.

To many, the move probably seems like a reaction to the 25-game amphetamine suspension handed down this afternoon to starting catcher Carlos Ruiz. And it does work well as one. But the deal was actually finalized before news of that punishment spread.

Quintero batted .232/.257/.341 with one home run and 19 RBI in 144 plate appearances this past season for the Royals before being designated for assignment near the end of June. The 33-year-old then signed on with the Brewers but spent the rest of the summer with their Triple-A affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee.

Quintero will presumably team with Eric Kratz on starting catching duties for the first month of 2013.

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.