Rockies right-hander Jair Jurrjens struggled Friday in his first start in 13 months, allowing eight runs while failing to make it out of the fifth inning, and he had even more problems dealing with the altitude in Colorado.
Jurrjens was taken to the hospital during the game for what the Rockies called “breathing problems.” He’s since been released from the hospital and manager Walt Weiss told Nick Groke of the Denver Post that doctors think it had more to do with conditioning and reacting to the altitude than anything serious:
Everything is fine. He checked out all right. People react differently when they get here, with the altitude and everything. That was part of it. But everything was moving pretty fast for him. All of a sudden he was here and he was starting in a big-league game again. I’m sure things were spinning.
His next scheduled turn in the rotation would be Wednesday afternoon versus the Padres, at Coors Field, although it’s not clear if the Rockies will give Jurrjens another start considering how bad he looked in his first outing.
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.
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.