Dodgers lose Vicente Padilla to elbow surgery, out indefinitely

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And just like that, the Dodgers’ impressive rotation depth is no more.

Vicente Padilla returned to Los Angeles to have an MRI exam on his sore right elbow and the news isn’t good, as the Dodgers announced today that he’ll undergo surgery “to free up a nerve that is entrapped in his forearm.”

There’s no timetable yet for Padilla’s recovery, but the surgery will be performed tomorrow and he’s clearly going to miss an extended period of time. He spent two months on the disabled list with elbow problems last year as well, which played a part in his accepting just $3 million in guaranteed money to re-sign this offseason.

Padilla’s loss may not have a huge impact on the Dodgers unless another starter goes down, as he was slated for the bullpen initially with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly, and Jon Garland ahead of him on the rotation depth chart. Padilla had a 3.31 ERA in 12 starts after returning from the DL in mid-June and the 33-year-old right-hander went 32-19 with a 4.49 ERA in 413 innings overall during the previous three seasons.

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.