Rockies place closer Rafael Betancourt on the DL again

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After blowing two consecutive saves in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Thursday, the Rockies have placed closer Rafael Betancourt on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right elbow, reports MLB.com’s Michael Radano. He will undergo an MRI on Monday which the club hopes assuages their fear he has torn his ulnar ligament.

On Wednesday, Betancourt recorded just one out while allowing two doubles and an intentional walk before Michael Young hit a walk-off single to left field. On Thursday, Betancourt got two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Betancourt then allowed a double, a stolen base, an infield single, and a walk before Domonic Brown laced a walk-off RBI single to right field. The two shaky outings caused the 38-year-old Betancourt’s ERA to rise from 2.93 to 4.08.

Betancourt was on the DL twice previously this season: from June 1-28 with a strained right groin, and from July 15 through August 16 with appendicitis.

In related transaction news, the Rockies called up Rob Scahill, activated Jhoulys Chacin from bereavement leave, and designated Edgmer Escalona for assignment.

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.