Bryan Stow shows progress, moving limbs on command

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Bryan Stow’s family passed along some good news on the Giants fan who’s been hospitalized since a brutal beating at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day, posting the following statement on their official website:

Yesterday we got the most response from Bry to date. He lifted his left leg slightly when asked, he raised his left arm everytime we asked if we could hold his hand, and the best part? Bonnie asked Bryan if she could have a kiss and every time she asked him, he puckered his lips. The final time when she was leaving, Bonnie asked again for a kiss. Bry turned his head towards her, puckered his lips for the kiss, then turned his head back. The nurse was shocked and excited to see that!

Last week’s procedure to remove excess spinal fluid is believed to have led to the increased responsiveness, which is great to hear.

Meanwhile, the two men charged with Stow’s beating, Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, are scheduled to be arraigned on August 10.

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.