Free Alex Gordon

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The Royals are about to call up Rick Ankiel from Omaha, where he has put up a batting line of .270/.281/.556 in 63 at bats while rehabbing. Meanwhile, Alex Gordon is batting .315/.442/.577 in 260 at bats since being sent down, presumably to learn left field.

Query: given Ankiel’s injury history and his own defensive limitations, why on Earth isn’t Alex Gordon getting the shot in Kansas City’s outfield instead of Ankiel?

The only reason I can possibly think of is that the Royals think they can trade Ankiel and want to showcase him for a bit, but that’s a bit delusional, ain’t it? Guy hasn’t played in the majors for nearly three months.

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.