The Astros release Kyle Farnsworth

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Is the end nigh for The Professor?

Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros have outrighted  Kyle Farnsworth. They’ve called up Jose Veras to replace him in the pen.

Farnsworth is 38 and he’s been awful this year, posting a 6.17 ERA in 11 and two-thirds innings since joining the Astros and walking more guys than he has struck out. He was a bit better than that with the Mets to start the season, but the fact is that two teams going nowhere and who are predisposed at this point to put up with less-than-stellar production in the name of saving some money and saving their young arms has decided that Farnsworth wasn’t worth keeping him around.

That’s a bad sign if he wants to keep pitching.

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.