Red Sox designate Ryan Roberts for assignment, call up Brock Holt

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The Red Sox have designated infielder Ryan Roberts for assignment and called up Brock Holt from Triple-A Pawtucket, WEEI’s Alex Speier reports. The Red Sox signed Roberts to a one-year deal on April 7 after Will Middlebrooks suffered a calf injury, but Roberts wasn’t very helpful, scratching out only two hits (both singles) in 22 trips to the plate.

Holt has been hitting well at Triple-A to start the season, which is why the Red Sox feel confident in bringing him up. He is currently the owner of a .380/.446/.600 line in 56 plate appearances.

Middlebrooks is expected to begin a rehab assignment next week, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. That would set Middlebrooks up for a return towards the end of April, so Holt will get a week or so of starts in before he’s pushed aside.

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.