Minnesota traded Jim Thome last night and he’ll be in Cleveland’s lineup tonight, but that won’t stop the Twins from going through with their planned Thome “wind-up walker” giveaway.
The first 10,000 fans through the turnstiles at Target Field tonight will receive the toy pictured to the right and the fact that the Twins had the giveaway scheduled for August 26 shows that being out of contention and trading the future Hall of Famer wasn’t even a possibility in their collective mind coming into the season.
It was probably nice enough for the Twins to trade Thome to the Indians for a player to be named later expected to be a marginal prospect, but maybe they could have worked out a side deal for the 10,000 wind-up walkers too. All it takes for the toy to be wearing an Indians hat and uniform is a few interns and some paint. For the sake of accuracy it could use some stir-ups anyway.
(Dap to Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune for the photo.)
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.