Five years ago today: Jered Weaver debuts for Angels

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May 27, 2006

Filling in for an ailing Bartolo Colon, 2004 first-round pick Jered Weaver makes his major league debut for the Angels and shuts out the Orioles for seven innings to earn a win.  He allows three hits, walks one and strikes out five in a 10-1 victory.

Weaver went on to open his major league career 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA, but the Angels still chose to send him down when Colon came off the DL on June 18.  The alternative would have been to demote his brother, Jeff, who was the team’s weakest starter at the time.

The Angels did make that switch a couple of weeks later, recalling Jered to replace Jeff on July 3.  Weaver won three more starts in a row afterwards, opening his career 7-0 with a 1.15 ERA before taking his first no-decision on July 29 against the Red Sox.  He was 9-0 through 12 starts before finally losing for the first time, and it was a cheap loss, too, as he gave up just one run over six innings against Boston in a game the Angels dropped 2-1.

Weaver ended his season 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA, but he finished a mere fifth in the ROY balloting in what was a very strong year for AL rookies.  Justin Verlander won the award with a 17-9 record,  Jonathan Papelbon finished second with his 0.92 ERA and 35 saves and Francisco Liriano came in third place with a 12-3 record and a 2.16 ERA.

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.