Prior not ready to give up on comeback

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Free agent Mark Prior, who was unable to pitch in the majors or minors last season as he continued his recovery from surgery, is throwing in California, his agent told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark
Priior underwent surgery for a torn shoulder capsule in June 2008. He was hopeful of being ready to compete for a spot in San Diego’s rotation last spring, but he was never able to throw pain-free and he ended up getting released in August. His last pitch in a major league game came in Aug. 2006.
If the 29-year-old Prior lands a job, it will simply be a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. As much time as he’s missed, it’s doubtful he’d be ready to open the season in the majors even if is able to throw without pain.

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.