Rangers send top prospect Jurickson Profar to Triple-A

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At various points this offseason there was speculation about how the Rangers could clear room in the lineup for stud middle infield prospect Jurickson Profar, but no trades were ever made and today they assigned him to Triple-A.

Profar is only 20 years old and jumped from Double-A to the majors for his MLB debut in September, so a little time at Triple-A will probably do him some good even if almost everyone seems to think he’s just about ready to thrive in the big leagues.

Profar hit .281 with 14 homers, 16 steals, and an .820 OPS at Double-A last season, which is incredible for a 19-year-old shortstop and got him ranked by both Baseball America and MLB.com as MLB’s top overall prospect.

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.