Major League Roundup
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Jamie Moyer, at 49 years old, has made it back in the big leagues.
Moyer earned a spot in the Colorado Rockies’ rotation and will start the team’s second game of the season.
“It is still Jamie Moyer. It’s the Jamie Moyer that was pitching prior to the arm injury that cost him the entire 2011 season. It’s the same guy,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Friday before the team’s spring training game against the Texas Rangers at Salt River Fields.
“It’s the same worker. It’s the same professional. It’s the same stuff, same velocity, same pitches. When he’s right, same type of effectiveness. You’re going to venture into this.”
Moyer, who is entering his 25th major league season, posted a 2.77 ERA this spring and beat out 22-year-old Tyler Chatwood and 28-year-old Guillermo Moscoso for a rotation spot.
“I was excited. I’m happy. I’m honored,” Moyer said. “But in the end, like Jim said, ‘You earned it.’ That was my goal coming here.”
Moyer will start April 7 against the Houston Astros. He can become the oldest pitcher in major league history to earn a victory.
The last player to play in the majors at 49 years old was infielder Julio Franco, who finished out the season with the Braves in 2007 after turning 49 in August.
Moyer will be 50 in November.
The left-hander will follow right-hander Jeremy Guthrie in the rotation and precede right-handers Juan Nicasio and Jhoulys Chacin, who will pitch the home opener April 9 against the San Francisco Giants.
In a move that could save the bullpen in case Moyer has a short outing, he will start after Guthrie, an innings eater who has pitched more than 200 innings each of the last three seasons.
With an off day on April 10, the Rockies will open the season with a four-man rotation. Left-hander Drew Pomeranz will join the rotation and make his first start April 15.
Pomeranz was optioned to Triple-A on Friday.
Moyer missed the 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. By returning to the majors, he will be the active leader in victories (267), innings (4,020) and starts (628). In his last season, he went 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010.
“It’s an opportunity, and I think it’s a great opportunity to try to take it and run with it,” Moyer said. “I’ve looked as my whole career as an opportunity, especially as I’ve gotten older.”
Moyer’s last start was Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox. He had to work out of trouble and threw 89 pitches in four innings, allowing three runs and seven hits.
The following day, Moyer was experiencing normal leg stiffness and displayed “no red flags,” Tracy said.
“I think he can still be very, very effective,” Tracy said. “He has incredible know-how. He’s an incredible pitch maker. When he’s right, he can carve a strike zone up.”
Tracy informed Moyer of his decision Friday afternoon.
Moyer thanked him. “I stopped him right there and said, ‘Thank you is not necessary because we don’t give handouts here. Your professionalism and the way you’ve handled yourself is immensely appreciated,’” Tracy said.
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Justin Verlander tuned up for opening day with a crisp outing in his final spring start and Detroit beat Atlanta 2-1 in a game called after six innings due to rain.
Verlander allowed four hits in six innings to finish the spring with a 2.02 ERA. The right-hander will make his next start on Thursday against the Boston Red Sox.
Tommy Hanson also pitched six innings for the Braves, yielding five hits. He’s also slated to start on opening day on Thursday against the New York Mets.
PHILLIES 8, BLUE JAYS 5
CLEARWATER, Fla. — Roy Halladay pitched two innings in a rain-shortened final spring start, and the Philadelphia Phillies went on to an 8-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
CARDINALS 6, NATIONALS 2
VIERA, Fla. — Stephen Strasburg pitched four innings in his tuneup to start on opening day for Washington in a loss to St. Louis. Strasburg allowed three runs, two earned, all in the second inning. He gave up five hits overall, striking out three and walking one.
YANKEES 11, ASTROS 9, 8 INNINGS
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Robinson Cano and Raul Ibanez each had two-run homers, 19-year-old Dante Bichette Jr. connected on the first two pitches he saw this spring and New York beat Houston in a game shortened to eight innings by rain.
TWINS 15, PIRATES (SS) 3
FORT MYERS — Justin Morneau continued his surge since moving to designated hitter, going 2 for 4 with a double to help Minnesota rough up Kevin Correia and a Pittsburgh split squad in a 15-3 win.
PIRATES (SS) 6, ORIOLES 6, 9 INNINGS
BRADENTON, Fla. — Erik Bedard gave up four runs in five innings while preparing to start on opening day start for Pittsburgh, and a split squad of Pirates tied Baltimore.
RED SOX 7, RAYS 7, 9 INNINGS
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria and Luke Scott homered for Tampa Bay, but four errors and a shaky relief outing from Wade Davis led to a tie with Boston.
MARLINS 6, METS 5
JUPITER, Fla. — Mark Buehrle allowed three earned runs in his final exhibition tuneup, and the Miami beat New York.
BREWERS 10, PADRES (SS) 7
PEORIA, Ariz. — Mat Gamel hit a grand slam and a solo home run and Milwaukee topped a split squad of San Diego.
ROCKIES 3, WHITE SOX 1
GLENDALE, Ariz. — John Danks was sharp in his final outing before starting on opening day, pitching six innings for the Chicago White Sox in a loss to Colorado.
ANGELS 3, CUBS 3, 10 INNINGS
MESA, Ariz. — Albert Pujols hit his sixth home run this spring and the Angels played to 10-inning tie with the Cubs.
DODGERS 9, DIAMONDBACKS (SS) 3
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Aces Clayton Kershaw and Ian Kennedy both struggled in their final spring tuneups, and the Dodgers defeated Arizona’s split squad.
DIAMONDBACKS (SS) 10, ROYALS 3
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Geoff Blum and A.J. Pollock homered to lead Arizona’s split squad over Kansas City.