Quote of the Day: “2008 is getting to be long ago”

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Charlie Manuel reacts to the Phillies sell-off:

“Yeah, 2008 is getting to be long ago,” Manuel said. “I look up at the pictures up on the wall in our locker room and yeah, it’s getting to be a pretty long time ago.”

That sounds depressing, especially if, like me, you love Manuel.  But it’s not that gloomy. This article at CSNPhilly.com reminds folks of the last time the Phillies were in sell-mode. It was 2006, Pat Gillick said they’d compete again in 2008 and they won the whole damn thing.

Of course, Pat Gillick isn’t running things now, so perhaps expectations should be adjusted accordingly …

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.