Just ask people who like dog races, cockfights and NFL football: a little friendly wagering can turn something totally awful into a lot of fun! That’s how we’re approaching the Home Run Derby, anyway. And it’s less wagering than it is a contest, but at least picking a dog in this race will give you a reason to watch it.
Drew has the details here, which is also where you can make your entry. The winner gets a free post on HBT on any (vaguely baseball-related) topic you want. I mean, sure, we’ll scrub out all of your F-bombs, 9/11 conspiracy theories and Star Trek slash fiction, but otherwise the post is yours if you win it.
So click over and make an entry now, campers. The more of you who enter, the harder it will be for Drew to sift through and find the winners, and that makes it fun for all of us. Except Drew!
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.
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.