Yesterday, a certain 39-year-old veteran lefty decided he was not yet done with Major League Baseball. After a year-long hiatus from playing professionally, this pitcher has announced his intentions to return to the mound and prove that he still has something left in the proverbial tank. New York decided the situation was at least enticing enough to explore and are proceeding cautiously. The former Houston Astro is confident he can find a place somewhere on New York’s roster.
That pitcher is, of course, C.J. Nitkowski whose medicals are being examined by the New York Mets [David Lennon, Twitter]. No deal has been reached between the two sides, but the Mets are currently looking for more southpaw relief help.
Nitkowski hasn’t pitched in the Majors since he was awful in seven games with the Washington Nationals in 2005 and hasn’t been part of a Major League organization since the following summer with the Pirates. Since then, he’s played two seasons in Japan and two seasons, more recently, in Korea. Even still, he hasn’t pitched at all since 2010 when he had a 6.68 ERA in nine games with the KBO’s Nexen.
If Nitkowski were to be signed, it would certainly be to a minor league deal with no guarantees from the Mets. In his career, he has a 5.37 ERA, 4.94 xFIP and 6.52/4.94/1.07 pitcher slash line.* Sometimes I was I was a left-handed pitcher. I’m sure I could find a job somewhere.
And the rest:
Oh yeah, some other lefthander pitcher has decided to attempt a comeback as well. When the Andy Pettitte news broke yesterday, it made my brain hurt. I mean, didn’t the Yankees just trade away a starting pitcher? But the more I think about it, the more I see how much it makes sense for both Pettitte and the Yankees to give it a shot; it’s not like either side has anything to lose. Jack Moore of FanGraphs and Dayn Perry of CBSSports.com’s Eye on Baseball (and also of FanGraphs) seem to agree with me, but say so much more eloquently.
Paul Swydan of FanGraphs asks why Ben Francisco is being guaranteed a spot on the Blue Jays’ roster over either Eric Thames or Travis Snider. The Blue Jays are leaning toward Thames for a number of reasons, but want to have one starting in leftfield and the other in AAA.
Stock up on Kraft Dinner and back bacon, the Mapocalypse is upon us! Brett Lawrie was removed from yesterday’s game with a groin problem! Oh noes! Fear not, though, it’s not thought to be serious [Andrew Stoeten, Drunk Jays Fans now on The Score].
Speaking of your favourite Canadian team, they’re finally being televised in Spring Training. In two different games at the same time no less! Unfortunately, if you don’t have MLB.tv, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for Rogers’ first broadcast. The games today feature Brandon Morrow going up against the Phillies and Drew Hutchison against the Braves.
Some scouts think the Red Sox moving Daniel Bard to the rotation is a bad idea. They cite his last professional appearances as a starter in 2007, but don’t acknowledge that that was several years ago and that he was pitching with different mechanics then [Jon Heyman, CBS Sports].
The Padres are talking extension with catcher Nick Hundley [Follow The Padres, Twitter].
Some people think that the backstop/fish tanks at the Marlins’ new ballpark constitutes animal abuse. [Mother Nature Network].