Athletics present Dallas Braden with a diamond ring

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Dallas Braden logo.jpgThe Athletics celebrated “Dallas Braden Day” on Friday to commemorate the pitcher’s perfect game against the Rays on May 9, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

As part of the celebration, the team presented him with a diamond ring, complete with 51 diamonds on the front — for his uniform number — and 27 diamonds along the edges — for the 27 outs he recorded en route to the 19th perfect game in major league history. Yes, Billy Beane went to Jared’s.

I’m currently searching for a picture of the ring, but all I have right now is Landon Powell and Braden standing near a pretty nifty logo on the left field wall. It’ll have to do.

According to Jane Lee and Alex Espinoza of MLB.com, his
grandmother was presented with a matching pendant
. You can watch her throw out the first pitch here. Like Dallas, she’s a southpaw.

Braden has dropped each of his last two starts since throwing the perfect game. He left Wednesday’s game against the Tigers due to illness, but is expected to make his next start.

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.