Commissioner Selig issues a statement on the death of Greg Halman

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No new news on the killing of Mariners outfielder Greg Halman.  A few minutes ago, however, Commissioner Selig issued the following statement:

“Today Major League Baseball mourns the passing of Greg Halman, a member of the Seattle Mariners organization since 2004.  Greg reached the Major Leagues in each of the last two seasons, hitting his first career home run on June 15th of this year.  Greg proudly represented the Netherlands in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, and he was a participant in MLB International’s grassroots clinics in Europe, as recently as earlier this month.

“The loss of a talented 24-year-old young man like Greg, amid such tragic circumstances, is painful for all of us throughout the game.  On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to the entire Mariners organization and to all those whose lives were touched by Greg.”

So senseless.

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.