Lance Berkman: “the AL is Mickey Mouse”

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A day after saying that the Cardinals lineup was more dangerous than the Giants, Lance Berkman wades back into analysis.

His initial take: that the Tigers should be favored because their rotation is set up while Cain and Vogelsong won’t get to pitch until the series goes back to Detroit and they have to face a DH. He doesn’t mention that the DH is probably Delmon Young, but that’s a minor detail.

About DHs in general, though:

Berkman has spent all but three months of his career in the NL. He played three months for the Yankees in 2010.

“It only cemented my opinion that the AL is Mickey Mouse and the National League is real baseball,” he said. “I hate the DH, even though it might prolong my career.”

I like to note these things because (a) while I wouldn’t go as far as Berkman does here I do prefer NL baseball; and (b) I also realize that, within the next 15-20 years or so, MLB is probably going to put the DH in the NL too, and I’d like to save this sort of stuff for posterity.

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.