After Roy Oswalt held the Rockies to one run over 6 2/3 innings in his Rangers’ debut on Friday, the AL West-leaders are close to getting another boost for their starting rotation.
T.R Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Derek Holland is scheduled to make his first minor league rehab start Wednesday with Triple-A Round Rock.
Holland, who was placed on the disabled list earlier this month due to shoulder fatigue and a stomach virus, is scheduled to throw around 50 pitches in his first start back. The young southpaw is expected to make a second rehab start next Monday, which would set up a potential return next Saturday against the Twins. It’s possible the Rangers could give him a third rehab start, would would push back his return until right after the All-Star break.
Holland, who signed a five-year, $28.5 million extension with the Rangers in February, has a disappointing 5.10 ERA and 59/24 K/BB ratio in 67 innings this season. His velocity was down a bit prior to landing on the disabled list, a by-product of his stomach virus. However, he has regained his strength during his three-week absence.
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.