Carlos Peguero, Michael Wilson won’t make difference for Mariners

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Change is good in this case, but the Mariners’ on-field product isn’t likely to be improved by the decision Monday to cut Milton Bradley and Ryan Langerhans and add Carlos Peguero and Michael Wilson.

The 24-year-old Peguero is big, strong and surprisingly fast, but he also struck out more than 170 times in high-A ball in 2009 and again in Double-A last year.  He had a 34/9 K/BB ratio to go along with his .282 average and four homers in 103 at-bats for Triple-A Tacoma this season.  During his brief major league stint last month, he went 2-for-11 with five strikeouts.

And while Peguero has the speed to play center, he’d be quite a downgrade from Michael Saunders defensively either there or in left after Franklin Gutierrez returns.  He’s also a very poor basestealer, having gotten thrown out on 13 of his 28 attempts since the beginning of 2009.

Wilson has a knack for hitting homers in bunches, as he showed by clobbering eight in the Cactus League for the Mariners in 2009, but he’s 28 and he’s another player with contact issues.   While it’s nice to see him getting rewarded with a callup in his 10th season in the Mariners’ minor league system, his only chance of sticking for the long haul is as a platoon starter against lefties.  In three seasons in the PCL, he’s hit a modest .255/.341/.463 with 26 homers and a 133/58 K/BB ratio in 566 at-bats.

My guess is that Peguero returns to Triple-A when Gutierrez comes off the DL, with Wilson staying and forming a platoon with Saunders in left field.  Peguero isn’t completely hopeless as a possible long-term regular, but he’s not ready to take on major league breaking balls right now.

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.