Valdez permitted three baserunners in two scoreless innings Sunday against the Braves.

Valdez's command was off during his first spring start, but he wiggled out of danger by inducing a pair of double-play grounders. The left-hander's goal is to harness better command of his fastball so that he doesn't need to escape sticky situations. On Sunday, he sailed his first pitch to the backstop, walked a batter on four pitches and hit another. "You saw some of the stuff he's working on this spring," manager A.J. Hinch told Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. "He's got to harness that in a little bit, get into some better counts and avoid some dangerous situations." Valdez is competing with Josh James and Brad Peacock for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.

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