Friends don't let Adam Dunn play defense

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Adam Dunn had to leave today’s Nats-Marlins game due to back spasms. According to Bill Ladson, he hurt his back trying to make a defensive play in the top of the second inning.

Dunn says he’ll be fine and will probably play tomorrow, but add this to the ever-growing list of bad things that have happened as a result of Adam Dunn being forced to play defense.  The list of good things that have happened will begin to be compiled the moment anything good happens.

Those alien archaeologists I mentioned in the Snuggie post?  Yeah, well, they’ll have historian friends with them who will spend years trying to figure out how it was that Adam Dunn played thousands of baseball games in his career without ever being a member of an American League team.

Wait, that’s not true. Beings that perfect interstellar travel will have highly advanced, highly rational minds. The sort of minds that will never consider that a major sports league created something as ridiculously awful as the designated hitter.

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.