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'You earned it': 49-year-old Moyer wins rotation spot

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Jamie Moyer, at 49 years old, has made it back in the big leagues.

Moyer earned a spot in the Rockies' starting rotation and will start the team's second game of the season. He's the oldest starting pitcher to make an opening day roster.

"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.

"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, entering his 25th season, posted a 2.77 ERA this spring and beat out Tyler Chatwood, 22, and Guillermo Moscoso, 28, for a rotation spot.

"I was excited. I'm happy. I'm honored," Moyer said of the decision, which came on the 20th anniversary of him being released by the Cubs. "But in the end, like Jim said, 'You earned it.' That was my goal coming here."

Moyer will start April 7 against the 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 2007 season with the Braves after turning 49 in August. Moyer will be 50 in November.

The left-hander will follow right-hander Jeremy Guthrie in the rotation.

CAREFUL WITH CRAWFORD: Former Rays All-Star Carl Crawford might not return to the Red Sox until May, sportsline.com reported. Crawford, who had a setback early in camp to his surgically repaired left wrist, isn't hitting yet, and manager Bobby Valentine said he'd like the leftfielder to get about 50 minor-league at-bats before joining the team.

ASTROS: Shortstop Jed Lowrie, sidelined since spraining his right thumb Wednesday, still feels some tenderness and might start the season on the disabled list.

BRAVES: Manager Fredi Gonzalez named right-hander Tommy Hanson his opening-day starter.

CARDINALS: Right-hander Jordan Swagerty, one of the team's top prospects, is scheduled for season-ending surgery this week to removed bone spurs in his right elbow and repair a damaged ligament.

DODGERS: Left-hander Ted Lilly, out since March 16 with neck stiffness, will begin the season on the disabled list.

INDIANS: Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez is in the rotation, and veteran right-hander Kevin Slowey is on his way to the minors. Gomez, 24, has a 1.97 ERA in six spring outings. Slowey, 27, optioned to Triple-A Columbus, went 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA.

METS: Left-hander Johan Santana, coming back from shoulder surgery threw 71 pitches in a simulated game and said he felt no fatigue.

NATIONALS: Right-hander Stephen Strasburg pitched four innings in his final tuneup for his opening day start during a 6-2 loss to the Cardinals. He allowed three runs, two earned, all in the second inning.

ORIOLES: Right-hander Chris Tillman was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

RANGERS: Outfielder Josh Hamilton is day to day after leaving Friday night's game with left groin tightness.

TWINS: Right-hander Scott Baker will start the season on the 15-day DL with right elbow inflammation. He'll be eligible to return April 12. … Drew Butera was optioned to Triple A, ensuring the team will carry two catchers to start the season, Joe Mauer and backup Ryan Doumit.

WHITE SOX: First baseman Conor Jackson agreed to a minor-league contract less than a week after being released by the Rangers.

'You earned it': 49-year-old Moyer wins rotation spot 03/31/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 31, 2012 9:00pm]

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