Jonathan Sanchez leaves start with left ankle sprain

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The Giants are crumbling before our eyes.

Already short handed on their bench tonight against the Braves, the Giants were forced to go to their bullpen early after left-hander Jonathan Sanchez was pulled in the bottom of the third inning with a left ankle sprain.

Sanchez suffered the injury while fielding a sacrifice bunt by opposing pitcher Randall Delgado. The southpaw gave up one run on one hit and one walk before being replaced by Guillermo Mota.

Barry Zito just sprained his ankle during a rehab start with Triple-A Fresno over the weekend, so the Giants will have to be creative if the injury to Sanchez requires an extended absence. Dan Runzler was just called up from the minor leagues today and has been used primarily as a starter with Triple-A Fresno this season. The more exciting option would be left-hander Eric Surkamp, who has a 2.03 ERA and 156/40 K/BB ratio over 128 1/3 innings at the Double-A level this season.

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.