Are the Pirates waiting for Tony Pena?

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Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates haven’t interviewed anyone for their managerial vacancy in a week, and that they’re “considering additional interviews.”

We’ve talked about the current candidates — John Gibbons, Dale Sveum, Carlos Tosca, Jeff Banister, Bo Porter and Ken Macha — but Biertempfel thinks Pittsburgh is waiting on Yankees bench coach Tony Pena’s season to be over before making a decision.

Pena certainly has a history with managing seeming lost causes. He was with the Royals, after all.  And he actually had one pretty nice season there back in 2003.  He also has a history with the Pirates of course, so it might make sense that they at least want to talk to him.

UPDATEGreat stuff from Posnanski on Tony Pena the other day.

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.