Clayton Kershaw gets the nod as Opening Day starter

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What, you were expecting Vicente Padilla?

Don Mattingly gave Kershaw the most deserved nod today, and I’m excited about it even if being a team’s Opening Day starter isn’t as significant as some people like to think it is.

The reason for my excitement?  It means that we get Tim Lincecum vs. Clayton Kershaw from sunny Dodger Stadium during baseball’s Opening Day bacchanalia on March 31st.  5PM eastern, babies, on national TV, serving as the meat in the three-game sandwich that is being broadcast that day.

I should probably just get divorced preemptively at this point to save me the arguments over me not getting off the couch that day.

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.