Twins demote Liam Hendriks back to Triple-A again

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For the second time this season the Twins have turned to their reigning minor league pitcher of the year Liam Hendriks in the starting rotation, been disappointing by the results, and sent the 23-year-old right-hander back to Triple-A.

Hendriks, who lasted just four innings yesterday against the Tigers, is 0-7 with a 6.71 ERA in 12 career starts and has served up 13 homers in 62 innings as a big leaguer after allowing a total of just three homers in 96 innings at Triple-A.

He was the Twins’ top pitching prospect coming into the season, but that was more by default as part of a very weak farm system, and long term he projects as a strike-throwing mid-rotation starter. For now 27-year-old career minor leaguer Cole DeVries will take his spot in the rotation after faring surprisingly well in some fill-in opportunities.

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.