Franklin Gutierrez (pectoral) cleared to begin throwing

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Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez was put on the disabled list before Wednesday’s season-opener in Japan and won’t be in the Seattle starting lineup Friday when the team gets going state-side. But he should be ready to rock by the end of April.

According to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, Gutierrez was recently cleared to begin throwing and played catch against a wall Friday in Mariners camp.

The 29-year-old has been hitting for more than two weeks without experiencing any lingering pain or discomfort in the area of his once torn pectoral muscle.

Gutierrez batted just .224/.261/.273 last season while fighting oblique and stomach issues, but he’s an elite defender and an important piece of the M’s roster. Michael Saunders will continue to fill in.

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.