San Diego’s rotation depth is so lacking that they replaced Jeff Suppan with Jason Marquis and now with Eric Stults headed to the disabled list with a strained lat muscle the Padres are turning to flame-throwing setup man Andrew Cashner to make Saturday’s start.
Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that Cashner will likely be limited to three innings, which makes sense considering he’s thrown more than 30 pitches in a game just once all season.
Cashner was a starter in the minors before the Cubs moved his high-90s fastball to the bullpen, but his control and off-speed stuff are both iffy enough that sticking in the rotation long term seems unlikely. He’s racked up 87 strikeouts in 91 career innings, but he’s also walked 50 and served up 12 homers while relying on his fastball-slider combination 90 percent of the time.
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.