I didn’t mention this in ATH because I was more interested in the origin of Dan Uggla’s last name, but it’s worth noting that Dodgers prospect Jerry Sands made his major league debut last night and it was good.
Sands had a double in the first inning that may have scored a faster man than James Loney, who was on first at the time. He drove in his first run with a sac fly in the third. The next inning he lost a ball in the lights momentarily but recovered nicely and made the catch. By then the Dodger Stadium crowd was chanting “Jer-ry! Jer-ry!” There hasn’t been a ton to cheer about in that ballpark this season. You could tell they were happy to have a palate cleanser like this.
Sands struck out in his other two at-bats, but that’s OK. It was a good debut. And as he represents an upgrade in talent over Tony Gwynn Jr., the left field job is likely his if his production comes close to meeting that talent.
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.