Joba Chamberlain now has “almost a hipster kind of look”

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Baseball-wise Joba Chamberlain is looking for a fresh start after leaving the Yankees for the Tigers as a free agent, but more importantly Jason Beck of MLB.com writes that the 28-year-old right-hander is now free to fully express himself with facial hair:

Gone is the mustache he donned during the end of his tenure in the Yankees bullpen. Now, he has a beard, as so many former Yankees have done. Add a pair of glasses, and Chamberlain took to Michigan for the Tigers’ Winter Caravan with almost a hipster kind of look.

“You know, it’s the first year of my life [that I can],” he said with a smile at TigerFest. “College, couldn’t have any facial hair, and obviously in New York you can’t. I could have a mustache, but mustaches aren’t that cool. I’m not Tom Selleck. I tried the best I could, but it just didn’t work for me.

Chamberlain also explained: “I wear the glasses because I feel like I look smarter and I’m too lazy to put my contacts in.”

Beck reports that Chamberlain has dropped 15-20 pounds, too, but let’s focus on the important stuff for now.

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.