Ernie Harwell hears the voice of the turtle

Leave a comment

If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t want to read a column in which Ernie Harwell tells spring training stories from the 1940s to the 1960s then I don’t have much use for you.

And for those of you unfamiliar with his work, Harwell used to begin the first spring training broadcast of each season with a reading from Song of Solomon 2:11-12:

“For
lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear
on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice
of the turtle is heard in our land.”

He may not get a chance to say it on the radio this year, but I’m glad that Harwell has held on long enough to hear the voice of the turtle one more time.

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.