Homer Bailey hurls six shutout innings subbing for suspended Johnny Cueto

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Johnny Cueto’s seven-game suspension meant he couldn’t make his scheduled start yesterday, so the Reds activated Homer Bailey from the disabled list to take his place and he shut out the Marlins for six innings in a 2-0 victory that completed a three-game sweep.
Cincinnati is back alone in first place despite being swept by St. Louis last week and the Reds’ rotation is looking stronger than ever with Bailey healthy for the first time since mid-May, Edinson Volquez showing positive signs in his return from Tommy John surgery, and Cueto’s suspension causing him to miss just the one start.
Not only did Bailey toss six scoreless innings, reach 95 miles per hour with his fastball, and retire the final 10 batters he faced after missing nearly three months with a shoulder injury, he handed out zero walks for just the fourth time in 47 starts.
Dusty Baker told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that Bailey “threw the ball great” and added that it’s “a great sign for us to have fresh arms like Homer and Volquez down the stretch” because “when everybody else is a little worn, they’re just getting revved up.” They may not have any room for Aaron Harang once he’s ready to come off the DL.

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.