Managing Jorge Posada's ego

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Joe Girardi, trying to manage Jorge Posada’s feelings over getting benched in favor of Jose Molina:

Yankees manager Joe Girardi had the conversation with Jorge Posada on Sunday, a talk similar to one he had with Joe Torre when Posada was about to cut into Girardi’s time behind the plate.

Girardi didn’t like it, and he didn’t expect Posada to be excited about light-hitting Jose Molina catching A.J. Burnett in the postseason.

“When I played here, we split guys during the playoffs,” Girardi said Thursday. “Of course, you want to play every day. I wouldn’t want a catcher who didn’t want to play every day. That would bother me inside if the guy didn’t want to play every day.”

Given that Posada was the better choice behind the plate both in 1999 and today, I don’t know how this is supposed to make Posada feel any better.

That aside, I think this is more or less a non-story. People really want Posada to fly off the handle I suppose. It would certainly make for some great theater. But (a) Posada just does not seem to be wired like that; and (b) I’d be shocked if Girardi didn’t have a closed door meeting with Posada in which he told him “look, Burnett is a head case and I need to manage his head. I know this is going to chafe your ego a bit, but please do whatever you can to keep cool, OK?”

Maybe it would be different if the Yankees were down 1-0 instead of up, but the most we’re going to ever get out of this are the sorts of “hey, I always want to play” quotes from Posada like we see in the linked article.

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.