Former Reds, Brewers pitcher, “Little Big League” actor Brad Lesley dead at 54

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This is sad. TMZ reports that Brad Lesley, who some of you oldsters may remember as a Reds and Brewers reliever in the early 80s, but who more of you probably remember from “Little Big League” and “Mr. Baseball” died of kidney failure at 54:

Brad Lesley — who played a few years of Major League Baseball before appearing in a slew of ’90s sports movies — passed away this weekend. He was 54.Lesley’s ex-wife, Chiho Svimonoff, tells TMZ … Lesley had been suffering from kidney problems and had been living in a nursing home for the past seven months, where he was receiving dialysis.

Two words: “Go . Away.”

RIP.

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.