Four-time Gold Glove catcher Mike Matheny, whose career was ended by concussions, said Scott Cousins was “hunting” when he hit Buster Posey and knocked out the 2010 Rookie of the Year for the rest of the season.
“You know what, it wasn’t a dirty play, he didn’t come high spikes, he didn’t come high elbow,” Matheny said Monday. “But it wasn’t a necessary play. He was hunting. Buster gave him an option and he didn’t take it.”
Matheny, who played for the Giants but is best known for the years he spent with the Cardinals, said that he’s not in favor of changing the rules to protect catchers, but he’s also not opposed to catchers giving back.
“I don’t think you legislate,” he said. “I think you just put a mark in the column that that kid took a run at a catcher. To me as a catcher I know the next time I get the ball I’m going to stick it to him.”
Matheny probably had several seasons left as a backup catcher before concussions ended his career in 2006. Now 40, he said he’s largely symptom free, but that he still gets headaches and such if he overdoes it athletically.
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.