Aroldis Chapman throws live batting practice, wants one more session before heading out on rehab assignment

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Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman threw live batting practice on Saturday afternoon at Turner Field, hours before his team took on the Braves. He did so without a protective screen, a great sign. But the lefty wants to throw one more batting practice session before heading out on a rehab assignment, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon writes.

“I would be able to go to the Minor Leagues right now, but to be honest, I need at least one more simulated game,” Chapman said via translator Tomas Vera. “I think that’s what we’re going to do — throw another simulated game before I decide to go somewhere else.”

Chapman is tentatively scheduled for another live BP on Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

Chapman is recovering from facial fractures after he was hit in the face with a line drive off of the bat of Salvador Perez in a spring training game. If he suffers no setbacks, he could rejoin the Reds some time in the middle of May.

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.