Previewing Saturday’s Fall Stars Game in the Arizona Fall League

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Feeling lost without live baseball in your life? Worry not, as some of the game’s top prospects will be on display in tonight’s Fall Stars Game in the Arizona Fall League. The game will begin at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on MLB Network and MLB.com.

Formerly known as the “Rising Stars” game, this is the eighth annual edition of the exhibition contest, which essentially functions as the fall edition of the “Futures Game” like we see during MLB’s All-Star Game festivities. As Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com notes, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Ryan Braun, Craig Kimbrel, and Buster Posey have participated in the game and gone on to win Rookie of the Year Awards. Counting the past four editions of the game, 93 players have reached the majors the very next season, so consider this an early sneak preview for 2014.

This year’s class is highlighted by Byron Buxton of the Twins and Kris Bryant of the Cubs. Buxton, 19, is coming off a monster season in which he batted .334/.424/.520 with 12 home runs, 77 RBI, and 55 stolen bases in 125 games between Class A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers. Bryant was Chicago’s first-round pick this past June and after mashing nine homers in his first 32 pro games, he leads the Arizona Fall League with six homers and 17 RBI.

Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez will make the start for the East team while Minnesota’s Alex Meyer will get the ball for the West, though they are unlikely to throw more than a couple of innings. Below are the lineups for tonight’s contest:

Fall Stars East: LF – James Ramsey (Cardinals), CF – Brian Goodwin (Nationals), 3B – Kris Bryant (Cubs), 1B – C.J. Cron (Angels), 2B – Taylor Lindsey (Angels), DH – Stephen Piscotty (Cardinals), RF – Jorge Soler (Cubs), C- Peter O’Brien (NYY), SS – Addison Russell (Athletics)

Fall Stars West: LF – Delino DeShields, Jr. (Astros), DH – Tyler Naquin (Indians), CF – Byron Buxton (Twins), 3B – Colin Moran (Marlins), RF – Jorge Bonifacio (Royals), SS – Corey Seager (Dodgers), C – Austin Hedges (Padres), 1B – Brett Nicholas (Rangers), 2B – Mookie Betts (Red Sox)

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.