Ricky Romero surrendered 17 hits, 10 walks and 11 runs in 13 innings this spring and was not on the Blue Jays’ active roster when camp broke. But his debut Saturday with the Jays’ affiliate in the Florida State League provided a glimmer of hope.
According to John Lott of the National Post, Romero allowed just one run over seven innings at High-A Dunedin, fanning four batters and issuing no walks. He has been working on mechanical tweaks for the past three weeks at extended spring training and it all seemed to pay off for him command-wise in his first start since the 2013 Grapefruit League came to a close.
The No. 6 overall pick in 2005, Romero registered an ace-like 2.92 ERA and 1.14 WHIP across 225 innings in 2011 for Toronto. But he then posted an ugly 5.77 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 181 innings last year.
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.
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.