Losers of nine straight games entering play tonight, the Rockies are *literally limping to the finish line.
Carlos Gonzalez is out of the starting lineup tonight for the sixth time in the past seven games due to a strained left hamstring. According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Gonzalez underwent an MRI today and could potentially be shut down for the rest of the season.
Gonzalez grounded into a fielder’s choice during a pinch-hit appearance yesterday, after which he told Owen Perkins of MLB.com his hamstring was “not very good.” The Rockies are buried in last place in the National League West at 58-94, so there’s little reason to bring him back if he’s not making progress.
While we might not see Gonzalez again this year, Troy Tulowitzki could head into the offseason with some peace of mind. The 27-year-old shortstop took batting practice before tonight’s game and remains on track to be activated for the final couple games of the regular season. He hasn’t played a game with the Rockies since May 30 due to a groin injury which required surgery.
*Seriously, try using “literally” in a sentence without thinking about Chris Traeger. It’s impossible.
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.