Daisuke Matsuzaka looks ready to return, but are Red Sox ready to have him back?

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Daisuke Matsuzaka made his second rehab start last night at Triple-A, tossing six shutout innings, and afterward pronounced himself “ready to pitch in the big leagues.”
Matsuzaka struck out two, walked none, and allowed just three hits after hurling five scoreless innings in his first rehab outing last week, so he’s definitely pitching well.
However, the Red Sox initially said he’d likely need at least three rehab starts before returning from neck and back injuries, and since Matsuzaka rejoining the team would seemingly mean either bumping Clay Buchholz or going to a six-man rotation they’re in no huge rush.
Buchholz beat the Royals in his first start of the season Sunday despite not pitching particularly well, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings while managing just one strikeout. He’ll face a tougher test tomorrow night at Fenway Park against the Rays and might be pitching for his rotation spot.

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.