John Axford makes his Oscar picks

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As he puts it in his twitter bio, Brewers closer John Axford is both a “mustache and film aficionado.” Today, he’s concentrates more on the movies and presents his 15 Oscar picks, including The Artist for best picture.

Why?

I can’t really sum up everything I felt while watching this film. The first 15 minutes I simply laughed because I thought the score was ridiculous (but in a good way). It was so happy and so easy to get lost in the film from the beginning. The story was fantastic and so was the acting. Like I said before, it did a great job at tastefully poking fun at silent films while also being able to show a compelling story on the front and even more depths throughout. Best Picture for sure!

Axford said he hit on 11 of his 13 picks for last year’s Academy Awards. Go on and check out his twitter feed if you want to see the rest of his choices.

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.