The honeymoon is over.
Willie Bloomquist, who hit .394 with eight runs scored and six steals in his first seven games with the Diamondbacks, went on the disabled list Monday because of a strained hamstring suffered during Thursday’s game.
Veteran utilityman Josh Wilson was called up to replace him.
Bloomquist had been slumping of late anyway, going 6-for-29 with three runs scored since his fast start. The Diamondbacks are playing Gerardo Parra regularly in left field because of Bloomquist’s injury, and he’s responded by going 7-for-16 over the last four games.
When Bloomquist returns, it will probably be to a significantly lesser role. He spent the first week of the season replacing an injured Stephen Drew at shortstop, and the move to left came as a way to keep his hot bat in the lineup after Drew returned.
Somewhat disappointing is that the Diamondbacks didn’t use the opportunity to promote the red-hot Wily Mo Pena from Triple-A Reno. Pena, who has hit .420/.473/.820 with six homers in the early going, could have provided Parra with some serious competition in left. However, with Melvin Mora banged up and neither he nor Ryan Roberts able to function as much more than an emergency shortstop, another infielder was needed.
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.