"American Idle" no more: Carl Pavano is thriving in Minnesota

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Carl Pavano became a punchline during his time in New York because of injuries and an overall lack of durability, but he’s healthy now and has been one of the league’s biggest workhorses this season.
Pavano shut out the Orioles last night for his second straight complete game and fourth complete game in his last seven starts, improving to 12-6 with a 3.26 ERA in 20 starts this season.
He now ranks second in the league with five complete games and third in the league with 143.2 innings, which is just two fewer frames than he threw during his entire four-year stint with the Yankees.
Minnesota acquired Pavano from Cleveland last August for a mid-level prospect named Yohan Pino and then re-signed him to a one-year deal this offseason. He’s now made 32 total starts for the Twins, which is basically one full season’s worth of action, and is 17-10 with a 3.73 ERA and 140/35 K/BB ratio in 217.1 innings.
Since the trade Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, Adam Wainwright, and CC Sabathia are the only pitchers in baseball to log more innings than Pavano.

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.