Yay! Another baseball player who is older than I am — there aren’t many left! — will play in the bigs this year, as the Rangers have purchased Brett Tomko’s contract from Round Rock. Tomko will pitch middle relief, filling in for Mason Tobin, who hurt his elbow.
Tomko hasn’t pitched in a major league game since September 2009. He has pitched 11 innings at Round Rock this season, giving up 11 hits, striking out 6, walking 5 and posting an ERA of 6.35.
And no, if he wasn’t an old recognizable name whose very existence as an active ballplayer makes me feel younger, I likely would not have posted about this transaction.
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.