Carl Crawford wasn’t the only player to suffer a leg injury in the bottom of the first tonight in the game between the Red Sox and the Brewers. Milwaukee starter Shaun Marcum got hurt facing the very next batter of the frame and didn’t come back out the second.
Marcum hurt something while delivering a pitch to J.D. Drew before stumbling back to the mound and finishing the inning. Marco Estrada replaced him to start the second in Boston.
Marcum gave up two runs before getting hurt. With the bases loaded and two out, he retired Drew on a grounder to second to end the first.
The Brewers can ill afford to lose Marcum. A definite All-Star candidate, the right-hander entered the night 7-2 with a 2.68 ERA this season. Estrada likely would be the choice to fill in for him if a replacement is needed. He made four starts early this season while Zack Greinke was out and went 1-1 with a 5.18 ERA.
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.