There’s a story in the Detroit News about the superstitions of the Detroit Tigers. Here’s one of Jose Valverde’s:
“I have a couple of cars, like a Lexus and a Mercedes. If I throw good while I’m driving one car, I stay with that car. I’m driving the Lexus now — and have been since the start of the season. But if I lose two games in a row, I’ll change cars.”
I think that “oh no, I accidentally drove the Mercedes to the ballpark instead of the Lexus” is the quintessential first world problem.
But hey, I’m not hating on Valverde here. As the man said, “If you believe you’re playing well because you’re getting laid, or because you’re not getting laid, or because you wear women’s underwear, or if you’re driving the Japanese luxury car instead of the German luxury car then you ARE! And you should know that!”
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.