UPDATE: Ladson reports that the Nats have signed Livan Hernandez to a minor league deal.
10:00 A.M.: After a full winter of saying that they were looking for a “Livan Hernandez-type” pitcher, but steadfastly refusing to consider Livan Hernandez for the job, the Nats have apparently decided that they just can’t quit Livan, with Bill Ladson reporting that the team is in “serious talks” with the mediocre iron-man.
All of this reminds of the time that Ted Turner fired Bobby Cox as Braves’ manager in 1981and at the press conference the same day asked who was on his short list for a replacement. Turner said “it would be Bobby Cox if I hadn’t just fired him. We
need someone like him around here.”
You can look that up, by the way. It’s part of Georgia law.
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.
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.