Marlins on deck for Showtime series “The Franchise”

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UPDATE: Confirming what Variety reported last month, MLB officially announced today that the Marlins will be Showtime’s subject for this season of “The Franchise.” New episodes are expected to begin around the All-Star break.

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Last year Showtime featured the reigning World Series champion Giants on their documentary series “The Franchise” and they’re close to naming the Marlins as the subject for the show’s second season.

Jon Weisman of Variety reports that “Showtime and Major League Baseball are believed to be close to a deal” that would allow the cameras to follow the Marlins around for the season, which could be pretty amazing television considering the presence of Ozzie Guillen and Carlos Zambrano, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez, and Logan Morrison and his Twitter account, not to mention the new ballpark and new uniforms.

According to Weisman the series drew an average of 651,000 viewers per show last year, with eight total episodes chronicling the Giants’ unsuccessful attempt to repeat as champs.

I’m hoping following the Marlins around goes so well that Ozzie gets his own spin-off show and maybe even does some crossover guest appearances on “Shameless.” I think he’d have great chemistry with Emmy Rossum.

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.