Rizzo: Stephen Strasburg will not be rushed

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strasburg on the mound.JPGStephen Strasburg boasts a 2-0 record, 0.73 ERA and a 17/3 K/BB ratio through three starts (12 1/3 innings) at Double-A Harrisburg and is certainly ready for more of a challenge.  But don’t expect a promotion to the big leagues anytime soon.

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo hinted to CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman on Wednesday that the 21-year-old standout will not be rushed through the organization, no matter how well he pitches.

“I’ve got a tentative plan in my mind, that I’m not going to share with
you guys,” Rizzo said with a laugh
Wednesday. “But we see that he certainly needs more work down in the
minor leagues. We’re going to see him in the big leagues, and when we
see him in the big leagues, we hope he’s here for good.”

It’s less about performance and development than it is about money, of course.  By leaving Strasburg in the minors until early June, the Nats can prevent him from reaching Super-Two status, which gives a player an extra year of arbitration.  In the end, patience could save the Nationals nearly $20 million.

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.