Mets prospect Travis d’Arnaud cleared to begin rehab from broken bone in foot

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In a perfect world, Mets prospect catcher Travis d’Arnaud would be right alongside Zack Wheeler when the prized right-hander makes his major league debut later this month. That’s not going to happen, as d’Arnaud is still in recovery mode from a broken bone in his left foot, but there is a positive update to pass along.

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, doctors have cleared d’Arnaud to begin limited workouts in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The 24-year-old backstop will still have to wear his protective boot for the time being, but he called today’s doctor visit a “huge step forward” in his recovery. However, he’s still likely multiple weeks away from game action and doesn’t figure to make his way to the majors until the second half of the season.

D’Arnaud suffered the fracture in mid-April with Triple-A Las Vegas when he was hit by a foul tip while behind the plate. Acquired from the Blue Jays over the winter in the R.A. Dickey trade, he was batting .250/.429/.472 with one home run and eight RBI in 49 plate appearances prior to the injury.

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.