Jay Gibbons leaves winter ball team due to blurred vision

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Jay Gibbons has been playing winter ball in Venezuela, but had to leave the team earlier this week because of blurred vision following November eye surgery to improve his sight from 20/20 to 20/15, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

Dodgers trainer Stan Conte downplayed the seriousness of the blurred vision, telling Tony Jackson of ESPNLA.com that “it’s nothing” and “it already is a little better.”

Gibbons, who signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers after resurrecting his career last season, is slated to serve as a bench bat and compete for playing time in left field. He previously underwent laser eye surgery a few years ago.

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.