Gil Meche announces his retirement

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This is kind of a shocker: Royals starter Gil Meche has announced his retirement.  This despite the fact that he has about $12 million left on his contract.

Of course Meche has had chronic shoulder trouble since 2009.  Much of it due, one presumes, to Trey Hillman absolutely grinding him into dust.  Rany Jazayerli has chronicled this, the most notorious example of which was Hillman sending Meche out for 121 pitches in a game in 2009 as Meche was suffering from dead arm and trying to overcome various ailments. Maybe Meche goes down anyway, but it was pretty inexcusable all the same.

That aside, Meche gave Kansas City their money’s worth for the first two years of the deal, putting up an ERA+ of 125 and 110, respectively, while pitching over 200 innings.  In the past two seasons Meche only made 43 appearances, 32 of which were starts. He had certainly lost effectiveness and velocity.  He apparently believes that it’s not coming back. Sad to see it end for Gil Meche, but it’s good to see someone comfortable enough with himself and his place in the game to where he can walk away like this.

Ask yourself, though: would you leave $12 million on the table like this? When you could simply hang around the team, sit in the dugout and collect the checks? Most of us would probably say that we couldn’t do that if we knew we couldn’t pitch anymore, but most of us would probably be lying.

Enjoy retirement, Gil.

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.