Despite piles of evidence to the contrary, Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp is apparently human.
According to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, the 27-year-old has been scratched from Sunday’s series finale against the Cubs because of a tight left hamstring.
There are rainy conditions at and around Chicago’s Wrigley Field, and the Dodgers don’t want to risk turning a minor thing into something major.
Tony Gwynn Jr. will start in center field in his place.
Kemp has posted an outrageous .392/.474/.825 slash line, 12 homers and 27 RBI in 116 plate appearances this season. It’s not clear whether he’s going to play in Monday night’s series-opener against the Giants.
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.