If Halladay had a ring, he might’ve just hung it up

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That’s the implication one gets from this interview with Chris Carpenter in the Post-Dispatch. He’s a friend of Halladay’s, and suggests that Halladay decided to have the surgery he’s having in order to come back and take another shot at a World Series, which Carpenter says is very important to him.

Maybe, but there’s no indication that Halladay was through with pitching as a general proposition anyway.  But I do wonder if such a desire for a ring may not alter what his plans are for 2014. He’s not under contract after this year and, barring some changes, Philly is not going to necessarily be a great bet for World Series hardware next season.  Might Halladay decide to go the hired gun route if healthy next spring and try to sign on as a back-of-the-rotation starter for a real contender?

Guess it all depends on how plugged in to Halladay’s psyche Chris Carpenter is.

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.