Reporter calls Ian Kinsler as self-absorbed as A-Rod

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Wow, that escalated quickly. Ian Kinsler certainly stepped in it yesterday, but it’s nor more of a faux pas than you see a handful of times a year. A guy talking smack about his old team and old boss. It happens and it usually blows over pretty quickly.

But Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News weighed in on Ian Kinsler in Twitter last night, casting him in more stark terms than one might expect:

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I’ve never spoken to Kinsler and haven’t talked in an in-depth way with anyone who has covered him closely. But man, “too close to call” with A-Rod on the self-absorption scale?

Is the fact that this isn’t a widespread take on Kinsler a function of Fraley having a singular and non-representative view of Kinsler? Of everyone thinking that but, unlike in New York, the Texas press corps not making a big point of reporting that sort of thing all the time? Or is it part of the same dynamic which gives us A-Rod coverage: reporters making character judgments with less-than-perfect information?

Either way, kinda surprising, really.

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.