Rangers activate Ian Kinsler from paternity leave list

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Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram passes along notice that the Rangers have activated second baseman Ian Kinsler from paternity leave and optioned Chris Davis back to Triple-A Round Rock in time for Saturday’s game against the Twins.

Kinsler spent just three days away from the Rangers, missing only two games, to be with his wife and newborn child. Jack Jamisson Kinsler, the couple’s second kid, was delivered at a healthy six pounds and nine ounces on Wednesday afternoon.

Kinsler got off to a hot start this season, posting an .813 OPS, five home runs and 12 RBI in the month of April. He has tailed off a bit since the beginning of May, but the Rangers have to be satisfied that he is at least staying healthy and they’ll simply hope that he soon gets back to his old slugging ways. Kinsler still boasts a quality .277/.356/.451 career slash line.

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.