Indians teammates ponied up $35,000 so Jack Hannahan could be at son’s birth

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Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has a great story about Indians utility man Jack Hannahan.

Two weeks ago Hannahan’s wife went into labor with the couple’s first child nearly three months before her October 26 due date. Hannahan and Indians director of team travel Mike Seghi worked on finding a last-minute flight from Boston to Cleveland, but there was nothing until the next morning.

They looked into booking a private jet, but when Hannahan–who’s earning $500,000 after spending nine seasons in the minors–saw the $50,000 price tag he decided just to take the regular flight in the morning … until his teammates chimed in.

“Everybody on this team, young and old, put something together to help Hannie out,” Justin Masterson told Hoynes. “[Austin] Kearns, [Travis] Hafner, [Shin-Soo] Choo, we all said ‘He needs to be there.’ That how all the guys felt.”

When everyone was done kicking in some money they had collected $35,000. And so Hannahan booked the private jet, flew to Cleveland, and arrived at the hospital 15 minutes before his son was born at 3:11 am.

John Joseph Hannahan V weighed just two pounds, 12 ounces and is expected to remain in the hospital until October, but Hannahan called him “a little miracle” and said he’s “been doing great in the hospital.”

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.