Arizona has been relatively quiet on the first baseman front despite letting 2010 starter Adam LaRoche walk as a free agent, and Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes that the Diamondbacks seem likely to give minor-league veteran Juan Miranda a chance to claim the everyday job.
Acquired from the Yankees for a mid-level prospect last month, Miranda has consistently posted solid numbers in the minors and is a career .287 hitter with a .374 on-base percentage and .481 slugging percentage in 301 games at Triple-A.
He was never going to get a chance stuck behind Mark Teixeira in New York, but if platooned and given starts primarily versus right-handed pitching the 27-year-old is capable of being very useful for the league minimum.
According to Piecoro “new general manager Kevin Towers is rolling the dice on a few buy-low candidates” like Miranda and “seems keen on giving him an opportunity.”
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.
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.