Royals fire Trey Hillman minutes after victory

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Just minutes after the Royals beat the Indians this afternoon for Zack Greinke’s first win of the season, the team fired manager Trey Hillman.
General manager Dayton Moore struggled to get the words out and appeared to have some tears upon making the announcement during a press conference that’s going on as I type this. Ned Yost will replace Hillman, who went 152-207 in three years on the job.
Obviously the writing has been on the wall for Hillman and it’s tough to argue that he deserved to keep the job, but Moore is actually responsible for building the roster full of veteran mediocrity.
UPDATE: To his credit, when asked if he “let Hillman down” Moore replied: “I look at myself, first and foremost. The failure of this baseball team is predicated on the decisions that I ultimately make in the short term and long term.”
UPDATE #2: Hillman is speaking to the media now. He answered several questions about today’s game first, which was weird, and said he was thankful to go out on a winning note for Greinke. Very poised and classy press conference for Hillman, in general.
UPDATE #3: Hillman revealed that he was told about the firing before the game. “Dayton is first class. He gave me the option this morning.”

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.