Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last June and wound up making only 10 starts during the 2011 season. He should be much more active in 2012.
According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, De La Rosa has been cleared to begin throwing off a mound regularly and is currently well ahead of schedule in his recovery from the major elbow procedure.
Here’s the 30-year-old southpaw himself:
“They have told me to take my time, that they aren’t going to rush me,” said De La Rosa. “But I believe I can be back in the big leagues in May.”
De La Rosa agreed to a two-year, $21.5 million contract with the Rockies in November of 2010.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.