I figured that the day would bottom out with Jay Payton transaction news and improve from there, but I guess I was wrong: Kris Benson sighting! He was sighted (figuratively) putting all his stuff in a bag and going back home to be with Anna and do whatever it is they do all winter.
Put differently, the Diamondbacks have shut him down for the season. He had three starts as a Diamondback and they were pretty bad. He had seven starts as a Reno Ace and they were even worse. The man just can’t pitch anymore even if he’s healthy, though in his case “health” is a theoretical construct.
For the sake of his own professional dignity I’d like to say that this is the last we’ll hear of Benson pitching, but I imagine there’s some team who will take a chance on the dude next winter. Then we can repeat our “Benson signs,” “Benson gets called up,” “Benson gets hurt,” “Benson’s season is over” postings all over again.
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.