Source: Guillen was not kept off the postseason roster because of HGH

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The strong implication in all of the stories about the Jose Guillen HGH investigation is that the Giants kept Guillen off the postseason roster because of the investigation.  A source with knowledge of the investigation, however, tells me that this isn’t the case.  The decision to keep Guillen off the roster was a baseball decision, borne of his lingering neck injuries and, quite frankly, his ineffectiveness down the stretch.  No one at Major League Baseball, my source tells me, “directed the Giants” to keep Guillen off, to use the term from the New York Times story that broke the news.  Baseball, the Giants and Bochy all declined comment on this question in the story.

Maybe to some folks this doesn’t matter — Jose is in trouble either way, and I have no basis for questioning the allegations mentioned in the NYT story — but I think it’s an important distinction. Why? because a lot of people have been saying that the HGH thing may have saved Bruce Bochy from himself, and that he would have played Guillen over Ross in the playoffs had it not come down.  This isn’t fair to Bochy.  He made the right baseball call here, just as he’s made the right calls in just about everything he’s done since the playoffs began.  Let’s give the dude some credit for it, no?

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.