Rockies demoting Opening Day catcher Chris Iannetta to Triple-A

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To make room on the roster for all their pitcher shuffling the Rockies are reportedly demoting Opening Day catcher Chris Iannetta to Triple-A.
Iannetta is off to a 4-for-30 (.133) start, but it sure seems odd to demote a 27-year-old veteran of 293 career games to Triple-A based on 30 bad at-bats after handing him an $8.3 million contract this offseason and starting him on Opening Day. The notion that Iannetta has anything left to learn or prove in the minors is fairly absurd.
Iannetta has gone through big slumps before, but has posted an OPS above .800 in back-to-back seasons as the Rockies’ primary catcher and has a career mark of .799 in 1,118 plate appearances. By comparison Miguel Olivo has a career OPS of .707 and has topped .730 just once in nine seasons, but has leap-frogged Iannetta on the depth chart based on a dozen strong games.
Some very short-sighted thinking by the Rockies, because if Iannetta warranted an $8.3 million deal this offseason and a start on Opening Day he certainly deserves more than eight games to get on track before sending him back to the minors at age 27. Since his debut in 2006 only six catchers have a higher OPS than Iannetta: Joe Mauer, Jorge Posada, Brian McCann, Mike Napoli, Victor Martinez, Geovany Soto.

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.