The Phillies hire Juan Samuel to coach third base, move Perlozzo to first

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Wow, ever write a blog post and realize that you didn’t need much more than the headline.  Yep, that pretty much says it all: Juan Samuel will be the third base coach, Sam Perlozzo moves to first.

This pretty much negates everything I said about Samuel’s stolen base proficiency the other day, because it’s not too often that he’ll be talking a guy at third into snagging home.  More importantly, however, it may lessen the ire of a lot of Phillies fans who had grown unhappy with Perlozzo’s work sending and stopping runners.

It seems like every team’s fan base has some issue with their third base coach, and I don’t know that we’ve yet come up with a good way to determine, objectively, how good a job a third base coach really does (we do believe that they should send more runners).  However, Philly fans have complained about Perlozzo pretty steadily.  And that wonderful play in the NLCS in which Roy Oswalt ran right through Perlozzo’s stop sign to score was one of the more notable rebuke’s of a base coach’s authority in recent history. The pitcher, dude.  Even he trust you.

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.