Moylan better than ever after Tommy John surgery

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Last night Peter Moylan set a Braves record by appearing in his 85th game, which is pretty remarkable for a guy who missed nearly all of last season following Tommy John elbow surgery and was no sure thing to be healthy by Opening Day.
In fact, even after making the team out of spring training Moylan struggled in his first two outings, allowing five runs without recording an out. Atlanta stuck with him and since then he’s 6-2 with a 2.03 ERA in 71 innings while limiting opponents to a .235 batting average.
Moylan’s average fastball is down about two miles per hour compared to his pre-surgery norms, but his slider remains just as sharp and the side-arming right-hander continues to induce a ton of ground balls. He has the third-highest ground-ball rate among all pitchers with 50 or more innings at 62.8 percent and has yet to allow a homer in 300 plate appearances. Toss in 60 strikeouts in 71 innings and he’s basically a perfect setup man.
Moylan was ridden extremely hard in 2007, logging 90 innings in 80 appearances, and that workload likely led to his needing to go under the knife. This season’s workload isn’t quite as heavy, but pitching 85 times in 156 games has still put an awful lot of stress on his surgically repaired elbow. On the other hand he’s already 30 years old despite this being just his second full season in the majors, so riding Moylan until the wheels fall off makes some sense.

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.