Tomko turns back the clock
When 14-season MLB veteran Brett Tomko chose the York Revolution at age 40 to launch one final run at a Major League roster spot, he was perhaps greeted with skepticism due to that landmark age, despite his big league pedigree. It hardly fazed him as he made 19 starts with York.
With Tomko’s first start at Triple-A Omaha a hugely successful one, on his 41st birthday no less, he may now be on Kansas City’s radar as more than just a veteran presence helping younger minor leaguers. By pitching on his birthday last night (April 7), he became the oldest player in Omaha franchise history, firing six innings of one-run ball, scattering just four hits against a Memphis club (St. Louis) widely believed to have several future Major League contributors.
It’s been an interesting few months for Tomko with the Royals organization. He cut short his season in York last August to explore a potential scouting career with them, stopping short of using the word “retire.” By mid-spring training, he was back under contract with Kansas City as a player, marking his second go-round with them, after making 16 appearances and 10 starts in the Majors with the Royals in 2008. With continued good showings in Omaha, Tomko will join a crowded race to become the sixth former Revs player to reach the Majors, with LHP Ryan Feierabend (Rangers) and 3B Andy Marte (Diamondbacks) also playing well at Triple-A following solid showings in Major League camp this spring.
As a starter and reliever, Tomko is the owner of 100 big league winning decisions, between 1997 and 2011 with the Reds, Mariners, Padres, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, Royals, Yankees, Athletics and Rangers. While starting now, Tomko could certainly get called up to come out of the Royals bullpen should the need arise.