I was walking around morning workouts when I encountered Bobby Abreu throwing the ball with Torii Hunter in the outfield. Torii Hunter has nine gold gloves, by the way, so this exchange was a lot of fun.
Abreu: Don’t think about it. Just get the ball … [throws] … and release.
Abreu: Perfect strike. Just get the ball … [throws] and release. It’s nothin’.
Hunter: [said nothing, laughed a little, and then I imagined he rolled his eyes]
At that point, Abreu got the ball, went into a half-hearted windup as if he were pitching, and threw a strike to Hunter. He turned around at the coaches and players behind him with a smug look on his face, thinking he looked like Verlander or something.
Third Base Coach Dino Ebel: “65 miles an hour”
Abreu: MY ASS!
Did I mention that the Angels seem like they’re having fun?
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.