Yankees likely won’t get CC Sabathia back when he is eligible on May 26

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On Wednesday, we learned that Yankees starter CC Sabathia was dealing with “degenerative changes” in his right knee. The lefty received a cortisone shot with stem cells and the Yankees didn’t offer a timetable for his return.

From the sound of it, though, the Yankees are unlikely to get him back when he is eligible to come off of the disabled list on May 26, MLB.com’s Spencer Fordin reports. Manager Joe Girardi said he would be “kind of shocked” if Sabathia returned on the 26th.

“There’s not a lot of history on this, but because they want the procedure to be as successful as possible, he’s on crutches,” Girardi said. “It’s not because the knee is sore. They just don’t want any weight on it. My guess is we’ll evaluate him Monday or Tuesday … and then we’ll go from there.”

Sabathia has a 5.28 ERA with a 48/10 K/BB ratio over eight starts spanning 46 innings. The 33-year-old was hoping to bounce back from a rough 2013 campaign, but things have become even tougher for him.

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.