Lincecum lifted after being struck with a line drive

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Giants starter Tim Lincecum was hit in the back of the right shoulder by a line drive on Wednesday afternoon and was removed from his start against the Orioles.

He crouched in pain after the initial blow, but eventually stood up and headed to the clubhouse under his own power.  Lincecum fanned 10 batters and improved to 7-2 on the season, but he allowed eight hits to a bad Orioles team while also walking four.  The good news is his bruised shoulder shouldn’t affect his status moving forward.

“Timmy is fine,”
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “There were no problems there. He
worked hard and those guys made him work. It was a gutty effort. He has
that ability to turn it up a notch when its needed. He had some big
strikeouts.”

Lincecum, a two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, has looked shaky in some recent starts and his 3.11 ERA and 1.22 WHIP would be three-year highs if it all ended today.  Of course, the season doesn’t end today, and Lincecum’s 106 strikeouts lead all major league pitchers.  We’re thinking that Timmy is going to be just fine.

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.