Daniel Murphy out 4-6 months with knee injury

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Slated to be the Mets’ starting first baseman, Daniel Murphy injured his knee late in spring training and then watched as Ike Davis took over the job for what could be the next decade or so. Once healthy the Mets demoted Murphy to Triple-A, but he lasted just eight games there before re-injuring his knee and is now expected to miss the remainder of the season with a torn MCL.
Mets fans latched on to Murphy as a long-term answer when he hit .313 with an .871 OPS in 49 games as a 23-year-old rookie in 2008, but the dirty little secret is that he was never all that promising a prospect. Handed a full-time job last season he hit just .266 with 12 homers in 155 games, posting a .741 OPS that ranked 23rd among the 24 first basemen who batted at least 450 times.
Combined with his strong rookie numbers that gives Murphy a .275 batting average, .331 on-base percentage, and .437 slugging percentage through 204 games in the majors, which is about what you’d expect from someone who hit .295/.356/.452 in the minors. He’s still just 25 years old and certainly looks capable of being a decent platoon player, but now he’s facing a long road back from the knee injury and an uncertain future in New York.

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.