Marlins view Tony Pena as a "serious" manager candidate

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According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com the Marlins view Tony Pena “as a serious candidate” to become their next manager.
Pena was a five-time All-Star as a player and prior to becoming the Yankees’ bench coach he managed the Royals from 2002 to 2005, winning AL manager of the year with an 83-79 record in 2003.
He then went 58-104 in 2004 and was fired following an 8-25 start in 2005, finishing his time in Kansas City with a .410 winning percentage. Of course, no one has been able to win in Kansas City for the past 15 years and in fact that flukishly mediocre 2003 is the Royals’ only winning season since 1994.
Frisaro speculates that the Marlins’ managerial search will include Pena, Bobby Valentine, and other candidates along with interim manager Edwin Rodriguez and “could last throughout the playoffs” in part because Pena wouldn’t be available until after the Yankees’ season is over.

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.