Brandon Morrow now throwing strikes with the strikeouts

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Brandon Morrow has always racked up huge strikeout totals with his mid-90s fastball and power slider, but major control problems left me skeptical that he could dominate as a starter long term. I’m still not entirely convinced, but Morrow has made progress with the walks of late and was brilliant yesterday, shutting out the Cardinals for eight innings while striking out eight and walking one.
Since being knocked out of his May 10 start in the second inning Morrow has a 2.93 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 49 innings spread over eight starts. Better yet he’s walked just 16, which is 2.9 per nine innings. Still certainly not great control, but prior to that stretch he had walked 5.9 per nine innings as a starter for his career. His raw stuff has never been in question, so if the improved control is here to stay Morrow’s upside is immense.

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.