Quote of the Day: Ryan Zimmerman

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The Nats’ third baseman on the radio a few minutes ago:

“There’s no way we’ll lose a hundred games again this year”

I can’t decide if this is a bold statement or not. On the one hand, yes, it’s a guarantee of sorts and we live in an uncertain world. A world in which the Nationals still stink, even if, generally speaking, they’re headed in the right direction. So sure, hats off to Zimmerman for sticking his neck out a bit.

On the other hand, there aren’t a ton of teams who have lost 100 games three years in a row. I may be missing one, but the Royals did it last between 2004 and 2006.  The Blue Jays did it from 1977-79. The Mets and Senators each did it four straight times in the 60s. Before that you have to go back to the Pirates of the 50s, the utterly atrocious Phillies squads that did it five straight times in the late 30s and early 40s and then you’re back into ancient history.

So, relatively bold statement or merely a safe percentage play? I’m not quite sure actually. I could see the Nats tanking horribly just as easily as I can see them being kinda frisky.

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.