New York high schoolers to start having their pitch counts monitored

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Missed this from yesterday, but file this under good ideas: New York City’s Public Schools Athletic League has agreed to have coaches keep track of pitch counts of high school pitchers, submit them with game
results and post them on the league’s Web site.

Sure, they had to be threatened by the city council to do it, and there is no binding rule in place to limit pitch counts, but as with most things, information is power. If people know that a 16 year-old kid was left in to throw 150 pitches some night — which happens in high school baseball all across the country each and every day — pressure will mount to stop it.

Not that this is a completely black and white issue. There is a lot of interesting stuff in the article about just how darn hard it is to find kids who can throw the ball over the plate, which causes many teams to lean too hard on those who can.

Still, that’s no excuse to kill a kid’s arm, and when it comes to this sort of thing, knowledge is power.

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.