This is fun. From Joe Strauss’ latest, talking about New England native Chris Carpenter’s return to Fenway park:
There’s enough tug here for the sidelined former Cy Young Award winner to ask Matheny if he could participate in batting practice. (Carpenter only bunted during pregame work with the Jays.) Permission granted, Carpenter drove five balls over the Monster, each to his teammates’ loud approval. “It felt great,” Carpenter said as batting practice ended.
Fun, yes. But it’s also worth remembering the next time you hear a story about a player impressing everyone in batting practice before a game. If a DL’d pitcher can put on a BP show, a lot of guys can. They’re big leaguers, after all.
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.