Brandon Moss loves him some Coors Field. The new Athletics first baseman hit his fourth homer of the series in Colorado and doubled twice Thursday as part of an 8-2 win over the Rockies.
Ross has now played in eight games, starting seven of them, since being called up by the A’s earlier this month. In 26 at-bats, he has seven hits: five homers and the two doubles today.
Prior to the callup, Moss had totaled 15 homers in 678 major league at-bats. He received his most extensive action with the Pirates in 2009 and hit .236 with seven homers in 385 at-bats. It took him nearly 2 1/2 years to earn another real opportunity, and the A’s might have waited longer to give him a chance if not for his June 15 opt out of his minor league deal. Now it looks like he’ll get a long look as the team’s starting first baseman.
Before wrapping this one up, I should also note here that Moss isn’t the only player doing nothing but collecting extra-base hits this year; Adrian Cardenas, an A’s castoff, has five hits in 32 at-bats for the Cubs so far, all of them doubles.
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.