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.
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.