Some bad news this morning out of Pirates camp.
According to beat writer Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, right-handed starter Jeff Karstens has been scratched from his scheduled Grapefruit League outing Sunday against the Orioles because of “continuing shoulder discomfort.”
Karstens reported feeling soreness in his right shoulder on February 19 — after one of his first throwing sessions of the spring. It was manageable for a while but is now causing him great discomfort. He will open the 2013 regular season on the 15-day disabled list, without a mapped-out return timetable.
Karstens posted a 3.97 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 90 2/3 innings last season while fighting hip and shoulder injuries. Jeff Locke, Jonathan Sanchez, Kyle McPherson and Jeanmar Gomez are fighting for his spot.
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.