The Nationals announced earlier this afternoon that they have recalled prospect Chris Marrero from Triple-A Syracuse. According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Marrero will start at first base and bat seventh today against the Reds while Michael Morse plays left field.
By the way, this lineup also features Jayson Werth in center field for the first time this season.
Morse has exclusively played first base since mid-May, but Nationals manager Davey Johnson told Kilgore earlier this month that he planned to move him back out to left field in order to prepare him for next season. Adam LaRoche, who underwent season-ending surgery on his left shoulder in June, is under contract for $8 million next season and is expected to be ready for spring training.
The decision also gives the Nationals an opportunity to see what they have in Marrero, who was the team’s first-round pick back in 2006. The 23-year-old has a .285/.353/.457 batting line over parts of six seasons in the minor leagues. He was batting .300/.375/.449 with 14 homers, 69 RBI and an .825 OPS over 546 plate appearances with Triple-A Syracuse this season.
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.