Roy Oswalt allows five runs in return

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Roy Oswalt pitched for the first time since July 7, entering in the fourth inning against the Padres after starter Chad Bettis tossed three scoreless innings. Oswalt was finally deemed healthy after suffering a strained left hamstring. Unfortunately for the 36-year-old veteran, though, the Padres were ready for him, tagging him for five runs over three and one-third innings. Oswalt’s fastball averaged below 90 MPH and maxed out at 92 MPH according to Brooks Baseball.

The outing bumped Oswalt’s ERA up to 8.57 on the season, and he has now lost every one of his five starts. The Rockies are hoping to see something positive out of him going forward as they still may consider him for a rotation spot in 2014. But if he can’t recover his velocity and remains unable to fool opposing hitters, he may have trouble finding work next season.

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.