With the Reds down 8-0 to the Braves last night manager Bryan Price decided to save the bullpen and turned to utility man Skip Schumaker to work the ninth inning.
Schumaker came in from left field and tossed a scoreless inning, allowing only a walk. Pitch-FX clocked his average fastball at 89.2 miles per hour and he topped out at 91.3 mph.
Here’s the MLB.com video:
It was the first time the Reds have used a position player to pitch since 2009, but Schumaker has now pitched four different times in his career. He did it twice for the Dodgers last season and once for the Cardinals before that, and now he’s got a 4.50 ERA in four innings of work.
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.