John Harper of the Daily News: Only a sometimes steroids skeptic

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In the wake of this morning’s Daily News column by John Harper, The Common Man takes a look at Harper’s past commentary about players and steroids and finds that, when it comes to New York players, current and former, Harper isn’t nearly so hung up on the issue of whether they were clean or not as he is on Jose Bautista. He either assumed they weren’t or did care.

One other point that several readers have noted: at the moment, Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson has 16 homer runs and is on pace to hit 56. This despite his career as, basically, a 20-25 home run hitter and peaking at 30. That more or less described Brady Anderson’s career too, and Harper had no compunction about throwing Anderson into the PED-use camp, so why not Granderson too?

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.