Mets manager Jerry Manuel is back on the hot seat again

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Kevin Kernan of the New York Post has a lengthy column today entitled “Manuel’s job in jeopardy” and says “this looks to be the point of no return” for Jerry Manuel as Mets manager. Here’s more:

The other day in San Francisco at AT&T Park the interview area for manager Jerry Manuel was moved to around the corner from the clubhouse. When Manuel emerged from the clubhouse and saw that his usual spot near the door had been relocated down the hallway, he said jokingly that “the street” would be the next stop for him. That day could be just around the corner for Manuel.

Manuel being on the hot seat is nothing new and in fact has been true for much of the past two years, although when the Mets were playing really well about a month ago he started to get praise for their success.
For instance, just 30 days ago Jon Heyman of SI.com wrote: “Time to give Jerry Manuel an extension. He fostered positive vibe around Mets.”
Manuel and the Mets have gone 9-16 since Heyman wrote that. Apparently the “positive vibe” vanished when the winning stopped. What a weird coincidence, right?

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.