The Phillies will honor John Kruk prior to Friday’s game by making him their annual addition to the team’s Wall of Fame.
Kruk joins such greats as Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt and Robin Roberts on the wall. His long-time teammate, Darren Daulton, was inducted last year.
Kruk is better known now for his big appetite and mouth, but he was an excellent first baseman for the Phillies for six years. He was an All-Star each year from 1991-93, and he received MVP votes all three seasons. He finished second to Barry Bonds in the NL in OBP in both 1992 and ’93. He also finished sixth in the league in OPS both seasons.
Since he had a short career — he didn’t debut until age 25 and he walked off the field and into retirement at age 34 — Kruk didn’t compile much in the way of career numbers. He ended up with just 100 homers and 592 RBI. Still, his .309/.400/.461 line in six seasons with the Phillies makes him a worthy choice for the wall.
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.