Kyle Blanks suffers setback during rehab assignment

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Kyle Blanks was pulled from a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Portland this week in order to have his ailing right elbow re-examined, reports Dan Hayes of the North County Times.

Blanks was originally placed on the disabled list on May 18. He was allowed to rehab the injury after an initial MRI showed no significant damage. According to Padres manager Bud Black, a second MRI revealed
inflammation and “action around the elbow.”

“It’s kind of beat up in there,” Blanks said of his elbow. “It
could be a number of things. We’re just trying to figure out what
is the best course of action. I’ve still got to talk to the
trainers more and I guess see what is the best approach, whether
it’s best case or worst case.”

Blanks, 23, was batting just .157/.283/.324 with three home runs, 15 RBI and a 46/15 K/BB ratio over his first 102 at-bats before going on the disabled list. Listed at 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, there were already concerns about his long-term durability in the outfield. This setback will do nothing to quell those fears.

By the way, tonight is Kyle Blanks bobblehead night at PETCO Park.
 

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.