Could rain disrupt the Yankees' master plan?

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Aaron and Matthew have both noted how a superfluous offday is going to allow the Yankees to go with a three-man rotation, thereby giving them an advantage.  When people plan, Mother Nature says “Ha!”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the possibility of showers affecting Games 1 and 2 is playing into the decision-making process regarding New York’s starting rotation for the second round . . . New York plans to pitch CC Sabathia in Game 1 and A.J. Burnett in Game 2. A potential rainout would likely force the Yankees to use a fourth starter, setting up Joba Chamberlain or Chad Gaudin to pitch Game 4 at Anaheim.

Given how he’s gone recently, pressing Joba into service harms both the Yankees’ rotation and their bullpen.  In contrast, the Angels have depth in their rotation.  Unless rain showers make old man Guerrero’s trick knee act up, a postponement helps Anaheim.

At press time, the forecast calls for a 90% chance of rain tomorrow, with the high a delightful 45 degrees.  There’s a 70% chance of the same business Saturday and a 40% chance on what would be makeup day, Joba Chamberlain-start Sunday.

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.