Brandon Webb still isn't close to rejoining Diamondbacks

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Brandon Webb’s recovery from shoulder surgery has progressed so slowly that he’s gone from hoping to be healthy for the second half to hoping to make at least one start in September to now talking about possibly having to participate in instructional leagues just to get some work in.
Here’s what Webb told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com about the possibility:

I’ve thought about that. I haven’t talked to anyone about it yet. It could make sense. It’s a controlled environment and it’s a way to get some innings.

Innings are innings, but one issue is that Webb will be a free agent in a few weeks and at that point he’s no longer property of the Diamondbacks, so pitching for their instructional league team (or another affiliated team) seemingly wouldn’t be an option.
Webb is still holding out some hope of making a relief appearance or two yet this season, but Diamondbacks pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. noted that “he’s still a ways away, he’s moving forward but he’s got a ways to go.”
He hasn’t pitched since Opening Day of last season and the former Cy Young winner is now 13 months removed from surgery.

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.