The third and final day of the draft is taking place right now, but a couple of yesterday’s mid-round picks caught me eye …
* Remember the University of Texas pitcher who threw 169 pitches during a 13-inning relief outing in an NCAA tournament game last month? Austin Wood was drafted in the fifth round by Detroit. When told that the Tigers picked Wood, manager Jim Leyland said: “He won’t be able to pitch until August.” He didn’t specify which year.
* Remember the Florida high schooler who threw four consecutive no-hitters? Patrick Schuster was taken by the Diamondbacks in the 13th round, which Conor Glassey of Baseball America notes
“is lower than Schuster was expected to go based on talent.” Schuster
has a scholarship waiting for him at the University of Florida, so he
may choose college rather than mid-round money.
* One other draft note from yesterday: Drew Storen’s incredibly fast deal with the Nationals includes a $1.6 million signing bonus, which is about 25 percent below what the past three No. 10 overall picks have received. General manager Mike Rizzo said
that Storen will begin his pro career at Single-A, which suggests that
the Nationals aren’t planning to push him to the majors this year.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.