Pedro to start Wednesday; Moyer to the pen

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Pedro Martinez is going to be activated before Wednesday’s game against the Cubs, and Jamie Moyer is going to the bullpen.  It’s a move that makes sense in that if anyone was going to lose their job in the rotation it had to be Moyer, who’s getting abused lately and currently has a 5.47 ERA.

I know everyone is going to be watching Pedro, but I’m actually more curious as to how Manuel is going to deploy Moyer.  The impulse — because he’s a veteran with a year left on his contract and no one wants to put him out to pasture yet — would be to use him as a lefty specialist or some other semi-prominent role.  If so, Manuel should avoid this impulse given that, over his career, lefties have actually hit Moyer better than righties (.765 OPS vs. .742 OPS), even though that’s not the case in 2009.

What I’d really like to see is Moyer used as an old-timey swingman, they type of which we just don’t see much anymore in this age of bullpen specialists. Lots of mopup. Lots of use as a longman. A spot start here or there if a particular matchup makes sense or if the Phillies build a bit more of a division lead.  If they do that right — and if Moyer doesn’t simply implode in his new role — Philadelphia could maybe reduce the number of guys in the pen and do some things with its bench that other teams can’t do such as have a pure speed guy hanging around or something.

We’ll see if that happens.  And we’ll see Wednesday if Pedro has anything left in the tank. 

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.