J.R. House's career is probably over

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It’s not likely that any of you care about J.R. House. Nor should you be expected to I suppose. He had a grand total of 63 major league plate appearances with a line of .167/.206/.367 for three teams.  He had a much more respectable .302/.363/.475 in 3886 plate appearances in ten minor league seasons, mostly in the Pirates organization.

But he’s a West Virginia boy, as I consider myself to be, so I’ve always paid attention to whatever it was he was doing for the past decade or so. I never had any illusions that he was gonna make a big splash, but I always kind of hoped he’d make it. According to a story in today’s Charleston Gazette, however, he hasn’t gotten a call to be anyone’s organizational soldier this winter, so it’s quite possible that he’s staring a coaching career in the face.

Frank Thomas. J.R. House. And so it goes.

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.