More good news here for the Red Sox, who clinched the American League East crown on Friday night.
According to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, manager John Farrell told the media Sunday morning at Fenway Park that center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury “might be in the lineup Wednesday” at Colorado’s Coors Field after sitting out the past three weeks with a compression fracture in his right foot.
Ellsbury was cleared for baseball-related activities last week and has been setback-free to this point.
The 30-year-old impending free agent was batting .299/.355/.424 with 52 stolen bases and 89 runs scored in 131 games before the injury. He’s going to hit it big on the open market this winter.
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.