Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald has the story:
SAN FRANCISCO — Mark the calendar: Clay Buchholz could make his first minor league start Sunday.
Buchholz threw 46 pitches in a four-inning simulated game here today. He pitched to right-handed hitters David Ross, Mike Napoli and Xander Bogaerts and threw his full repertoire of pitches.
Buchholz is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday in Los Angeles and could then be cleared to head to Low-A Lowell to kick off a minor league rehab assignment.
Buchholz hasn’t appeared in a major league game since August 8 due to neck and shoulder troubles. If he does a three-game minor league rehab assignment, he should be ready to return on September 10.
The right-hander was 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 12 starts before landing on the disabled list.
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.
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.