So much for the theory that it might take a 45-year-old starter a little longer to get ready.

Jamie Moyer got his 22nd season off to an impressive start on Wednesday when he threw three shutout innings against the Reds, giving up just one hit and no walks while striking out three.

"It's a starting point," Moyer told The Philadelphia Daily News. "You come to Spring Training and you go through your drills and your bullpens and your live batting practice. Each is a step. And this is another step. You go out and have your first outing and you try to get your feet underneath you."

Moyer is the oldest player on a Major League roster, but that's of little concern to the soft-throwing left-hander.

"To me, the age thing is just a number," he said. "You have your good days and your bad days. Life goes on. I'm going to make the best of every day I have here."

Hochevar digs a little deeper in debut: Luke Hochevar gave new Royals manager Trey Hillman exactly what he wanted -- and a little more -- on Wednesday.

The tall right-hander, who was the club's first-round draft pick in 2006, worked two scoreless innings in his spring debut, despite being so ill with the flu that he vomited in the dugout.

"Outstanding," Hillman told The Kansas City Star. "He's doing the same thing we've seen here in camp. He's showing the ability to repeat his delivery. Obviously, the ball gets out of his hand good. An added bonus, as far as I'm concerned, is I learned a little more about him.

"To have the problems that he had in the dugout after he pitched, and not to say anything to his pitching coach or to me, that tells me a little more about what kind of guy he is on the inside. That's the kind of guy we want toeing the rubber."

Peralta standing tall: Jhonny Peralta, who is 6-foot-1 and 227 pounds, considers his size an advantage at shortstop.

"I know I'm big," Peralta told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I'm a tall guy. But right now I see a lot of shortstops in the big leagues who are big. I don't worry about playing other positions. Right now, shortstop is the position I play every day."

Martinez brings leadership to clubhouse: Victor Martinez isn't just a solid backstop with a big bat. Those who are around him the most point out that he's also an outstanding leader in the clubhouse.

"He's definitely one of those core guys that guys look to for leadership, whether it's by how he plays or with some words here and there," pitcher Jake Westbrook told The Akron Beacon Journal. "It's not overrated at all.

"When you're that guy, I think you don't realize how much younger guys look to you for how to go about your business and do things."

Prospect James soaking up the spring: When Brad James was added to the 40-man roster of the Houston Astros, it meant a trip to Spring Training with the Major League club. It also meant a chance to be around big-league players.

"Just getting to play with the older guys that are more experienced -- it's good to get in here now and get more used to it," James, 23, told The Houston Chronicle. "I don't want to go back to the Minor League side. Trust me. This is 15 times better than the Minor League side."

Drafted in the 29th round of the 2004 draft, James is ranked by Baseball America as the team's third best pitching prospect.

Burke versatile with glove and bat: When Chris Burke was breaking in with the Astros, he was stuck behind future Hall of Fame second baseman Craig Biggio. So he had a choice: either learn to play some new positions or play in the Minors.

His ability to play nearly anywhere on the field is among the reasons the Diamondbacks acquired Burke from the Astros during the offseason.

"Once I got there, Biggio was at second, so it was like 'Well, you either learn or you stay in Triple-A," Burke told The East Valley Tribune. "It was kind of learn on the go, and I got thrown in some spots that weren't necessarily comfortable. But I was able to get the opportunity to learn at this level, which isn't always the easiest thing to do, and it's given me a good bit of experience."

Since starting his Major League career, Burke has started at five different positions as well as hit in every part of the lineup except for fourth.

Murray, Mendoza impressive in opener: A.J. Murray and Luis Mendoza, pitchers who will try to add depth to the Rangers' staff, each pitched two scoreless innings and threw first-pitch strikes with regularity in their spring debuts Wednesday against Kansas City.

"Without a doubt, I'd be comfortable with either one of them," manager Ron Washington told The Dallas Morning News. "They went out there and just pounded the strike zone. These are two kids with a whole lot of potential, and hopefully they can build on this."

Pelfrey shuts down Tigers: Mike Pelfry claimed the fifth starter's spot on the Mets last year after an outstanding spring, but he went 3-8 with a 5.57 ERA during the season.

Pelfrey, the ninth overall pick in the 2005 draft, believes he learned from his struggles, though.

"Last year was the first time in my life I actually had to handle adversity," Pelfrey told The New York Daily News after throwing two scoreless innings against a stacked Tigers lineup.

Notably, he got ahead in the count on five of the six batters he faced.

"The games have always kind of come easy for me. I've been able to throw the fastball and get by with it. Last year I struggled. It was tough going through it for the first time. I tried to stay positive, and I'd like to think I've learned from it, and it's made me a better person and a better competitor."

Ground balls encouraging for Mussina: Mike Mussina had a solid tune-up Wednesday during an intrasquad scrimmage. Mussina threw two innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with one walk and one strikeout.

While the numbers don't look good, two of the hits were grounders up the middle and a third hit was a bad-hop single that hit the lip of the infield grass and went over the head of the shortstop.

"If I get that many ground balls every day, I'll be happy," Mussina told The New York Daily News. "I feel healthy and my arm feels good."

Mussina is trying to rebound from a 2007 season in which he went 11-10 with a 5.15 ERA while battling injuries that included a left hamstring strain that sidelined him for three weeks.

Corpas, Rockies strike four-year deal: Closer Manny Corpas has agreed to a four-year contract that also gives the Rockies two option years.

Last season, Corpas converted 19 of his 20 save opportunities after taking over the closer's role just before the All-Star break. He ended the season with a 4-2 record and a 2.08 ERA. In the postseason, he went 1-0 with a 0.87 ERA and five saves in six chances.

"We are extremely pleased in the commitment the Rockies have extended to Manny," Tom O'Connell, Corpas' Tampa, Fla., based agent, told "He's very excited to be a part of the Rockies for many years to come."

The contract guarantees Corpas about $8 million over the four guaranteed years but would be worth nearly $25 million if the Rockies pick up both options.

Hunter solid in exhibition opener: Torii Hunter got off to a good start in his Angels debut, posting two hits, a run and an RBI against the Rangers.

"I had that extra energy in my body going into my first at-bat with the Angels," Hunter told The Los Angeles Times. "I was pumped up."

Guillen thankful for time in Seattle: Jose Guillen is happy about the three-year deal with the Royals in the offseason, but he had originally hoped to stay with the Mariners.

"I kept telling my agent, 'That's where I want to stay,'" Guillen told The Seattle Times. "I didn't want to leave."

Added Guillen: "It was just business -- I understand, but it hurt me when I left. I told my wife, 'It really, really, really hurt me,' because I love those guys over there. It was just like I was heartbroken. It was pretty tough."

-- Red Line Editorial