MLB.com won’t let me (or anyone else) embed video, so you have to check it out here. Definitely worth your click-through, though. The catch is being compared to Willie Mays over-the-shoulder catch in the 1954 World Series. Two differences from what I can see:
1. Willie Mays’ catch was only half of what made that play amazing. The throw which followed it — which kept Larry Doby at third base despite the fact that Wertz’s ball was hit approximately a gajillion feet — was just as impressive; and
2. Mays didn’t do a fancy little hop right before catching the ball. If he had, we’d probably view his legacy in a whole new light.
Not that I’m taking away from Ichiro. That was a great catch. Real baseball is almost here, my brothers and sisters.
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.