Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez can’t seem to catch a break. He has appeared in only 13 major-league games this year because of heel and head injuries, and it’s suddenly looking like he won’t make it back from his most recent disabled list stint before the conclusion of the 2012 regular season.
According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, Gutierrez “had further headache flareups” Saturday and has been scratched from a rehab assignment that was scheduled to get underway this afternoon.
The 29-year-old Venezuelan suffered a concussion over six weeks ago when he was hit in the head by a pickoff throw at first base. He was cleared to resume baseball activities in late July but is now experiencing another wave of post-concussion symptoms.
Gutierrez, a defensive whiz, is a .256/.308/.383 career hitter in the big leagues. Seattle manager Eric Wedge suggested to reporters on Sunday that Guti could play winter ball to make up for his lost 2012.
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.