The Atlantic League plays host to Armando Benitez and Joey Gathright transactions

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Last we heard from Armando Benitez, he was inexplicably signed by the Marlins in mid-2010. That resulted in eight appearances in triple-A and he hasn’t been heard from since.  Today, however, he signed with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League.

He was in the Atlantic League — Newark — when he signed with the Marlins, so who knows, maybe this will put him back on the road to the major, heh, sorry. Almost got through that with a straight face but just couldn’t cut it.

In other Atlantic League news, Joey Gathright — who has recently been toiling for Bridgeport Bluefish — has reportedly had his contract purchased by the Reds triple-A team, the Lousiville Bats.  Gathright is no stranger to this either, as he has done the Atlantic League-to-affiliated ball jump for three straight seasons now.

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.