Jamie Moyer has a history of defying the odds, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at this point, but Rockies’ manager Jim Tracy announced last night that the 49-year-old left-hander has won a spot in the team’s starting rotation. He’ll start the second game of the season on April 7 against the Astros.
Moyer, who is entering 25th major league season, posted an impressive 2.77 ERA and 11/3 K/BB ratio over 13 innings this spring. He will be the oldest pitcher to start a game since Satchel Paige at age 59 in 1965 and will also have the chance to become the oldest pitcher to win a major league game. Jack Quinn of the Brooklyn Dodgers previously won a game on September 13, 1932 at 49 years, 74 days old. Moyer is two months older than Quinn was at the time.
It’s impressive enough that Moyer won a rotation spot at the age of 49, but remember that he also missed all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Kudos, Jamie. You are making us all look like slackers.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.
Comments from an anonymous team official suggest that Rangers right-hander Tyson Ross will not be expected to join the rotation until May or June, per a report from Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Both Ross and GM Jon Daniels favor a conservative approach for the 29-year-old as he works his way back up to full health after undergoing surgery last October to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.
The delay is reportedly being implemented so that Ross will be have the strength and stamina to contribute during the stretch run. Per Daniels:
We would rather err on a little extra time up front with the goal being to finish strong, pitching in big spots, meaningful games down the stretch and hopefully past 162.
Ross signed a one-year deal with the team on Thursday after pitching through an injury-riddled season with the Padres in 2016. If all goes according to plan, he’ll slot into a rotation that includes Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, Andrew Cashner and Martin Perez. The Rangers are expected to narrow down their fifth starter alternatives in spring training.