Jake Peavy set for minor league rehab start Thursday

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Jake Peavy tossed a light bullpen session earlier today, after which he was cleared to make a minor league rehab start Thursday with Triple-A Charlotte. He is slated to throw around six innings or 90 pitches.

Peavy was placed on the disabled list last week with a right groin strain. If all goes well during his outing Thursday, he could rejoin the White Sox as soon as next week.

While the White Sox employed a six-man rotation prior to his injury, Peavy told Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune earlier today that he would be willing to return as a relief pitcher.

“(Cooper) said it’s certainly something they’ll talk about and discuss,” Peavy said. “Who knows? I just think we got five guys going pretty good right now. We’ve taken some heat about the six-man rotation. Are we doing the right thing or wrong thing? I’m just letting them know my end of the deal. I‘ll do whatever I can do to help.”

Peavy, 30, has never made a relief appearance during his major league career. In fact, his last relief appearance as a professional was in 2000 while pitching with Class A Fort Wayne in the Padres’ pipeline.

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.