The Reds plan to stretch Aroldis Chapman out as a starting pitcher during winter ball in Puerto Rico, but he’s making a few tune-up appearances in the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League first.
According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, the hard-throwing left-hander tossed a scoreless inning of relief in his first appearance this afternoon. He threw eight out of 16 pitches for strikes while fanning one and walking one. Keith Law of ESPN.com notes that he touched 101 mph on his fastball.
Chapman is scheduled to pitch again Thursday and next Monday before leaving for winter ball. Barring a change of plans, he is expected to get a look as a starting pitcher during spring training.
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.