MLB suspends Martin Maldonado, Carlos Gomez, Travis Snider, and Russell Martin for Easter brawl

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MLB has handed out suspensions for the Easter afternoon brawl between the Brewers and Pirates. On the Milwaukee side Martin Maldonado gets five games and Carlos Gomez gets three games. On the Pittsburgh side Travis Snider gets two games and Russell Martin gets one game. And they were all fined.

Maldonado receives the biggest punishment–including a $2,500 fine–after punching Snider in the face, resulting in a black eye and a large cut for the Pirates outfielder. Gomez got the whole ruckus going by admiring what he thought was a home run before sprinting for a triple, while Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole avoids a suspension presumably because MLB believes his involvement consisted of screaming at Gomez rather than, say, helping to incite the whole thing.

No word yet on which players plan to appeal the suspensions and/or fines. Martin has challenged Maldonado to an offseason fight in the name of raising money for charity, but Maldonado declined. As a backup catcher a five-game suspension really only means missing one game for Maldonado, who plays sparingly behind Brewers starter Jonathan Lucroy anyway.

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.