Mets keeping Travis d’Arnaud in the majors

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While this news is hardly unexpected given what we heard over the weekend, the Mets announced this afternoon that catcher Anthony Recker was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. This officially clears the way for top prospect Travis d’Arnaud to remain in the big leagues.

D’Arnaud made his major league debut on Saturday after John Buck was placed on the paternity leave list. There was some speculation that the 24-year-old backstop would head right back down to the minors once Buck was ready to return, but the Mets now appear committed to giving him as much playing time as possible down the stretch. In other words, common sense has prevailed.

D’Arnaud, who was acquired from the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey deal, is 0-for-7 with five walks and two strikeouts through his first three games in the majors. Injuries have been an issue for him in the minors, but he has the potential to be a long-term solution behind the plate.

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.