More shoulder problems for Mat Gamel

Leave a comment

Mat Gamel exited yesterday’s game with a sore right shoulder, which is the same injury that caused him to sit out the Brewers’ first three spring training games last week.
He suffered the initial injury while taking batting practice last Thursday, but was also sidelined by a right shoulder impingement last spring. Gamel insists that his current shoulder problem is unrelated to the issues he had almost exactly one year ago, but as manager Ken Macha put it: “We have to get this nipped in the bud.”
Between his defensive shortcomings and Casey McGehee’s emergence as a rookie last season Gamel seemed unlikely to make the Opening Day roster to begin with, so the injury just makes those odds even longer. Unless it turns out to be something serious, of course.
Gamel has proven MLB-ready offensively, holding his own in 148 plate appearances with the Brewers after posting an OPS above .800 at every level in the minors, but Prince Fielder blocks his path at first base and the 24-year-old former top prospect will need to either improve his glove or have McGehee falter to take over at third base.

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.