From CSNWashington.com, we learn that Bryce Harper does not wake up each morning and check the standings. From the scene of last night’s playoff-clinching celebration:
“Everyone started going crazy and I looked at the fireworks and said ‘I guess we just did something.’ Someone handed me a playoff hat and a playoff shirt and I said ‘I guess we are going to the playoffs … I had no clue. I had no idea,” he said. When the guy handed me this shirt, he just handed it to me and I was wondering what it was and it said ‘playoffs.’ I was just wondering like, ‘what happened?’ I guess we clinched a playoff berth.”
For what it’s worth, I can’t remember what was going on in my head when I was 19 so I can’t sit here and judge.
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.