Yay! Another baseball player who is older than I am — there aren’t many left! — will play in the bigs this year, as the Rangers have purchased Brett Tomko’s contract from Round Rock. Tomko will pitch middle relief, filling in for Mason Tobin, who hurt his elbow.
Tomko hasn’t pitched in a major league game since September 2009. He has pitched 11 innings at Round Rock this season, giving up 11 hits, striking out 6, walking 5 and posting an ERA of 6.35.
And no, if he wasn’t an old recognizable name whose very existence as an active ballplayer makes me feel younger, I likely would not have posted about this transaction.
Mariners starter Félix Hernández will come off of the disabled list to make his final start of 2018 on Wednesday against the Athletics, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. Hernández has been on the disabled list since September 8 with a right hamstring strain.
Hernández, 32, has endured the worst season of his 14-year career. He’s 8-13 with a 5.46 ERA and a 121/57 K/BB ratio over 151 2/3 innings. Hernández wants the opportunity to finish 2018 on a good note. He said, “I feel good. No problems. It’s 100 percent. I just want to finish strong and show them I can still pitch. It wasn’t a big injury. They just wanted to give me some rest.”
Hernández is under contract for one more year at $27 million. He has been the face of the franchise for the last decade, but if he doesn’t show he’s capable of beating major league hitters by the end of spring training next year, the Mariners may not be able to afford to give him a spot in the starting rotation. Despite a second-half slide, the Mariners were competitive in the AL West this year, entering the All-Star break 58-39, five games out of first place. With some roster fine-tuning, the Mariners could give the Astros and Athletics a run for their money. Hernández’s involvement with that effort remains to be seen.