Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.
As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.
You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.
The Mets have announced that Noah Syndergaard will start on Opening Day, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports. That’ll be on April 3 at home against the Braves.
That Syndergaard gets the nod comes as no surprise, as he was the Mets’ best starter last season. He went 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA and a 218/43 K/BB ratio in 183 2/3 innings, earning a nomination to the National League All-Star team in the process. Syndergaard finished eight in National League Cy Young Award balloting, but arguably should’ve finished a lot higher than that.
Syndergaard reportedly added 17 pounds of muscle over the offseason. Considering his 97.9 MPH average fastball velocity was by far tops among starters last season, it’s scary to think about what he can do with even more strength.
Syndergaard will be the seventh different Met to start on Opening Day in as many years. Those prior to him included Matt Harvey, Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, Jon Niese, Johan Santana, and Mike Pelfrey.
Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake announced on Tuesday that the Rangers acquired pitcher Eddie Gamboa from the Rays in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The Rangers moved Jake Diekman and Prince Fielder to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster.
The Rays had designated Gamboa, a knuckleballer, for assignment on Tuesday morning, to create roster space for Nathan Eovaldi. It didn’t take them long to find a taker.
Gamboa, 32, made his major league debut last season. He pitched 13 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on nine hits and eight walks with 11 strikeouts. While it seems unlikely Gamboa will grab a spot in the Rangers’ bullpen, he can at least provide relief depth.