Marlon Byrd is paying dividends already

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Marlon Byrd headshot.jpgIf Milton Bradley-Marlon Byrd comparisons weren’t lame enough, stuff like this makes them lamer:

After Marlon Byrd saw Carlos Marmol throw a batting practice
session recently, he pulled the young Cubs closer aside. Byrd could
tell what Marmol was throwing. “I fixed it,” Marmol said Tuesday. “It’s not a good thing. I know what I have to do . . . He talked to me. He’s my teammate. I don’t want somebody else to see my pitches.”

Can anyone picture Milton Bradley doin’ that?

Something else from the article that caught my eye was Byrd saying that he learned to spot pitch-tipping from Ricky Ledee.

I don’t know if anyone else is like this, but there are certain guys who I never think of as aging, and Ricky Ledee is one of them. There’s no real reason for this, but in my mind, he’s still a Yankees prospect from the mid-90s, so it’s physically impossible for him to have mentored the (in my imagination) much older Marlon Byrd.

Others in that camp: Jim Palmer, Livan Hernandez (don’t ask me why), Jeter, Scott Rolen and a handful of others. It has nothing to do with physical appearance, personality, style of play or anything like that. They’re just guys who, when someone mentions their name, I think of as 23 years old for some reason. 

Maybe I should see a doctor about that.    

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.