MLB notebook: Rockies' Morneau will fill Helton's spot at 1st
If you're going to replace Todd Helton at first base in Colorado while wearing Larry Walker's old number, you better have a solid resume.
The Rockies are convinced four-time All-Star and former American League MVP Justin Morneau is the answer as they begin the post-Helton era.
“It'd be tough for anybody to have to fill those shoes,” manager Walt Weiss said of Helton, the freshly retired five-time All-Star who holds nearly every Rockies career offensive record. “But we're doing it with a guy that's been a league MVP and has been an elite player in this league.”
Morneau signed a two-year, $12.5 million free-agent deal in December. He was in his 11th season with the Twins before being traded to Pirates late last season.
Morneau is a career .277 hitter with 221 home runs. He played in 152 games last season and hit .259.
• Pitcher Justin Masterson and the Indians agreed to a one-year contract worth $9,762,500 and avoided a salary arbitration hearing. Masterson, a 28-year-old right-hander, led the Indians in wins last year when he went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA.
• Rangers ace Yu Darvish was in a joking mood Tuesday at spring training. Darvish wisecracked that the Yankees might have paid too much for fellow Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka by giving him a seven-year, $155 million contract on top of a $20 million posting fee to the Rakuten Golden Eagles. “I don't know the details of the posting system, but I think the Yankees gave him a little bit too much,” Darvish said with a chuckle through his interpreter.
• Derek Jeter's retirement announcement will soon seem a lot more real for Yankees manager Joe Girardi. The Yankees captain said last week in a statement that this will be his final season, and he planned to discuss his decision during a news conference at Steinbrenner Field on Wednesday, when New York's position players report for spring training. “It's probably going to set in a little more because I'm actually going to hear it instead of reading it and see it come out of his mouth,” Girardi said.
• The Nationals plan to give the longtime third baseman Ryan Zimmerman work at first this year, a position he has not played in the pros. New manager Matt Williams said Tuesday it's more of a strategic ploy to add an extra right-handed hitter to the lineup against tough lefty starters. Zimmerman said he envisions playing perhaps 10-15 games at first.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- MLB notebook: Reeling Reds get more bad news
- MLB notebook: Morales headed back to Mariners
- MLB notebook: Rays’ Archer says he ‘never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat’