As speculated last week by MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick …
Zack Greinke would have started the second game if not for a calf strain that he is still rehabbing.
Kershaw will face Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin in the first game on March 22 at the Syndey Cricket Ground in Australia and Ryu will meet D’Backs righty Trevor Cahill in the second game (March 23).
It’s only a two-game set.
If Greinke can avoid setbacks, he’ll probably line up to start the Dodgers’ first game back in the states on March 30 in San Diego. Dan Haren is L.A.’s fourth starter, and Josh Beckett or Paul Maholm will be fifth.
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.