Stephen Strasburg gives up first runs with Triple-A Syracuse

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Strasburg Triple-A.jpgShip ’em out of town, says Steve Phillips. Stephen Strasburg yielded two runs — one earned — over a brief five-inning start for Triple-A Syracuse on Monday night, according to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com.

Strasburg gave up an unearned run in the top of the third inning — ending a scoreless streak of 20 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. He gave up his first earned run in the fourth inning. All told, he threw 36 of 52 pitches for strikes while whiffing five and walking none.

Strasburg wasn’t perfect, but now owns a 0.39 ERA through his first four starts with Triple-A Syracuse, posting a 27/4 K/BB ratio over 23 1/3 innings. The young phenom has a 0.99 ERA and 54/10 K/BB ratio over nine starts between Double-A and Triple-A.

Goessling speculates that there’s a small chance he could make his major league debut against the Padres this weekend, but still holds true to the more likely scenario of a debut at home against the Reds on Friday, June 4. Don’t know about you, but I’m hoping to be there.

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.