* Included among the many international signings yesterday was the Mets inking Ugueth Urbina’s son,
16-year-old left-hander Juan Urbina. The elder Urbina was a two-time
All-Star who ranks 30th on the all-time list with 237 career saves, and
is now serving a 14-year prison term after being convicted of attempting to murder two people with a machete in a 2005 dispute over a stolen gun.
* After a brief quarrel yesterday, Rany Jazayerli and the Royals are back on speaking terms. Sort of. My guess is that if Joe Posnanski didn’t have such a large, devoted following the Royals would probably try to blackball him
too. After all, it’s easier than actually improving the team. Kansas
City has finished above .500 exactly one time since 1995, winning 83
games in 2003, so it’s tough to blame their fans for speaking out.
* Not wanting position players to corner the market on Tommy John surgery after this week’s news on Xavier Nady and Mike Aviles, left-hander Neal Cotts underwent the operation yesterday.
* Magglio Ordonez hasn’t been very good at playing baseball lately, but he’s great at raising money for charity.
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.