Rockies’ search for new manager down to four candidates

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From Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post:

The Rockies’ managerial search has reached the final four: bench coach Tom Runnells, veteran slugger Jason Giambi, former Rockies shortstop Walt Weiss and current Diamondbacks third-base coach Matt Williams.

Williams is the only one who hasn’t had a formal interview, but that will change Monday when he sits down with owner Dick Monfort, GM Dan O’Dowd and senior vice president of major-league operations Bill Geivett.

The Rockies are expected to come to a decision by the end of the week. There isn’t a clear frontrunner, though Giambi has drawn heavy praise from reporters and team officials alike since the search began.

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.