Twins demote Opening Day starter Vance Worley to Triple-A

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It’s not often that you see an Opening Day starter sent to the minors, let alone demoted less than two months into the season, but that’s exactly what the Twins just did with Vance Worley.

Worley got knocked around for eight runs in 3.2 innings against the Braves today, falling to 1-5 with a 7.21 ERA overall this season. And now the 25-year-old right-hander is headed back to Triple-A, where he last pitched in 2011, and Minnesota makes another change to what has been an absolutely brutal rotation for two years running.

Worley, who was acquired along with prospect Trevor May from the Phillies for Ben Revere this offseason, posted a 3.50 ERA in 278 innings for Philadelphia.

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.