Kevin Kouzmanoff has a herniated disk, may need surgery

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Kevin Kouzmanoff got back to the majors for the first time since 2011 and hit .362 with a 1.029 OPS in 13 games for the Rangers filling in for the injured Adrian Beltre … and now he’s hurt too.

Kouzmanoff has been placed on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his back and T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com writes that “it hasn’t been determined if he will need surgery.”

Texas is expected to activate Beltre from the disabled list tonight anyway, so it’s unclear how much playing time Kouzmanoff would have gotten going forward, but it’s an awfully tough break for a guy who had a chance to get his career back on track.

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.