WGN continues to search for a new broadcasting partner for Len Kasper after Bob Brenly left the Cubs’ booth to join the Diamondbacks’ broadcast team last month.
According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, MLB Network’s Dan Plesac is expected to interview for the gig next week. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reported last week that Plesac recently signed a five-year extension with MLB Network and didn’t consider himself a candidate, so this news comes a bit of a surprise, but he has apparently had a change of heart about the possibility.
Plesac has been with MLB Network since the network first launched in January of 2009, but previously hosted Cubs pre-game and post-game shows with Comcast SportsNet Chicago from 2005-2008. The three-time All-Star also pitched with the Cubs from 1993-1994.
Plesac isn’t the only ex-Cub under consideration for the job, as former Eric Karros is also expected to interview. Rick Sutcliffe, Todd Hollandsworth and Doug Glanville have all been mentioned as possibilities, though it’s not clear whether they are serious candidates to join Kasper in the booth.
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.