Josh Collmenter’s grip on a rotation spot has been pretty tenuous since he struggled during spring training and it appears the Diamondbacks are already close to pulling the plug.
According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said tonight that he is considering other options in place of Collmenter for Monday’s game against the Marlins.
“We may move him to the bullpen,” Gibson said. “We’re considering it. He may not start Monday. We’re considering other options. We’ll probably make a decision by [Saturday].”
Collmenter posted a surprising 3.38 ERA over 154 1/3 innings as a rookie last year, but he has a miserable 9.82 ERA through his first four starts this year. The 26-year-old right-hander was tagged for six runs over six innings in a loss to the Phillies on Tuesday night.
It probably won’t be long before we see 2011 first-round pick Trevor Bauer in the big leagues, but since he just pitched yesterday, he’s not a realistic option to take Collmenter’s place on Monday. However, fellow prospects Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs would be both available on regular rest.
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.