Matt Diaz to undergo season-ending thumb surgery

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Matt Diaz has been on the disabled list since mid-July with a right thumb injury and the Braves announced that the veteran outfielder will undergo season-ending surgery.

Diaz told Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that “we’ve given it pretty much every way to rest possible” before deciding on surgery, which carries a two-month recovery timetable.

He actually played through the injury for about six weeks before going on the DL last month, but Diaz finishes the season hitting just .222 with two homers and a .613 OPS in 51 games. That’s a far cry from his lifetime .291 batting average and .770 OPS, and his absence as a right-handed platoon bat versus left-handed pitching motivated the Braves to trade for Reed Johnson.

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.