Quick hits: Wang departs early

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– Chien-Ming Wang left Saturday’s start against the Blue Jays due to a sprained right shoulder.
While his line didn’t show it, Wang was in the midst of his best start
of the season, inducing 10 groundballs and throwing 45 of 66 pitches
for strikes. He is scheduled for an MRI later today.

Update: Wang is headed for the disabled list.

– Adam Dunn launched the 300th home run of his career in a comeback win over the Braves on Saturday afternoon. The slugger has 22 homers in 275 at-bats this season.

– The Rangers have promoted 22-year-old prospect Justin Smoak to Triple-A Oklahoma City. The 2008 first-round pick was batting .328 with six homers and 28 RBI with Double-A Frisco. With Chris Davis continuing to struggle, Smoak could be on the fast track to the majors.

Oliver Perez will replace Tim Redding
in the Mets rotation. The erratic lefty threw just 46 of his 92 pitches
for strikes in a Friday rehab start with Triple-A Buffalo, but the Mets
hope he can deliver better results than the 6.99 ERA that Redding has
put up.

– Manny Ramirez homered in his first at-bat
on Saturday against the Padres — in his second game back from serving
a 50-game suspension. Speaking of performance-enhancing drugs, Rafael
Palmeiro continues to deny knowingly taking them. Meanwhile, Roger Clemens’ lawyer Rusty Hardin revealed that the pitcher is not among the 104 players who tested positive for PEDs in 2003.

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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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.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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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.