You’ve come a long way, BBWAA

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The Hall of Fame vote always occasions criticism of the BBWAA, and like most years, there is legitimate criticism to be made. But dudes, we have to remember how far the BBWAA has come in just the past five years or so.

Remember this one? It’s the voting results for the 2008 NL Rookie of the year award. Pay special attention to the fourth place finisher:

source:

Yep, Edinson Volquez. Who received three second place votes. Even though he was not actually a rookie. I repeat: NOT A ROOKIE IN 2008.  He pitched 20 games in the bigs across three seasons before then.

So, yes, it stinks that Craig Biggio didn’t get in and it stinks that Mike Mussina didn’t get good support and it stinks that people have submitted lame protest votes.  But at least, oh, I dunno, David Wright didn’t get three Hall of Fame votes.

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

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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.