Jamie Moyer was one of the better stories of the spring, successfully securing a spot in the Rockies’ rotation at the age of 49 after missing the entire 2011 season following Tommy John surgery. And he has a chance to make a little history in his first start tonight against the Astros.
Moyer, who is 49 years and 141 days old, could become the oldest pitcher to ever win a major league game. Jack Quinn, the current record holder, was 49 years and 70 days old when he won for the Brooklyn Dodgers on September 13, 1932.
While Moyer understands his place in history, he told Troy Renck of the Denver Post that his comeback is more about showing that he still deserves a spot on a major league roster.
“It’s special to have this opportunity. Maybe when my career is over, I will think about it more. But I didn’t come back for one game,” Moyer said. “I want to make a contribution to this team all season, helping guys as much as they help me.”
Moyer, a former sixth-round pick of the Cubs in 1984, owns a 4.24 career ERA and 267 lifetime wins over 24 major league seasons.
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.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”