Jacoby Ellsbury becomes Red Sox’s first 30/30 man

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The Red Sox may have collapsed, but their MVP certainly isn’t to blame.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a pair of solo homers Sunday off the Yankees’ A.J. Burnett to become the first member of the 30 HR/30 SB club in Red Sox history.

It’s the 57th 30/30 season in major league history.  Matt Kemp and Ryan Braun have also pulled it off this year.  Kemp has 37 homers and 40 steals for the Dodgers, while Braun has 33 homers and 31 steals for the Brewers.  Ellsbury currently has 38 steals.

Ellsbury’s second homer also gave him 100 RBI for the season.

Ellsbury is the first American Leaguer to go 30/30 since the Rangers’ Ian Kinsler in 2009.  He’s the first American League to amass 30 homers, 30 steals and 100 RBI since the Rangers’ Alfonso Soriano in 2005.

While Ellsbury was always a good bet to get the required steals needed to pull off such a feat, none were expecting this kind of power from him.  He has 10 more homers in 639 at-bats this season than he did in 1,372 at-bats entering the year.

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.