Red Sox owner John Henry gave a press conference this morning summing up the team’s problems down the stretch, talking about Terry Francona’s departure and all of that stuff. We’ll have more on that later this morning, but for now I am preoccupied with one particular thing he said.
When asked about the team’s conditioning — an issue many noted as the Red Sox collapsed — Henry said that all training, throwing, running and cardio work was done as it was supposed to have been done. He said, however, that there were “nutritional issues” that concerned him.
If you’re at all familiar with my work, you have already realized that “nutritional issues” will now be beaten into the ground by me until the End Times. It’ll be like the flip side to “Best Shape of His Life” stuff. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have a new arrow in the cliche quiver.
Still, I’m puzzled. How on earth — given what we know about how the Sox spent their time in the clubhouse — could they have “nutritional issues?” It almost makes me think that they were drinking the wrong kind of beer.
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.