Jake Peavy: pressure got to the White Sox last year

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Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com spoke with Jake Peavy, who said something you rarely hear ballplayers say: pressure got to the White Sox last year:

“I think you saw that when things got on the line and we were the team to beat there, being in first place down the stretch and that pressure, you feel the immaturity as a club as a whole. I’m not just saying the young guys. I’m talking about myself, the Adam Dunn’s, the Paul Konerko’s. That’s our job to keep everyone calm and keep us holding on.”

Normally you hear guys say that they simply didn’t make plays, it is what it is, the other guys got hot, etc.  Interesting and unusual to hear Peavy be so frank as to say “hey, we couldn’t handle the pressure.”

Peavy goes on to talk about other stuff, including how he was convinced that 2012 was going to be his last season in the bigs. That, of course, was the feeling before the season, which saw Peavy make a welcome and somewhat unexpected return to form.

Good interview. Check it out.

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.