Florida International shortstop Garrett Wittels extends hitting streak to 50 games

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Florida International sophomore Garrett Wittels extended his hitting streak to 50 games this afternoon, leaving him eight short of Robin Ventura’s record streak of 58 games for Oklahoma State in 1987.
Wittels has a hit in every game this year, but with FIU playing in the Sun Belt Conference tournament and one loss from their season being over his streak will likely have to continue in 2011.
Wittels has just two homers all season and 66 of his 86 hits have been singles, but the 6-foot-1 shortstop is batting .411 with a .460 on-base percentage and .536 slugging percentage.
FIU hasn’t produced many big leaguers, although they do have Mike Lowell in the majors right now.

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.