Mariners sign right-hander Jon Garland to a minor league contract

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Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners have signed right-hander Jon Garland to a minor league contract with a spring training invite. This confirms a report by ESPN’s Jason Churchill.

Garland is set to take a physical next week at the team’s complex in Peoria, Arizona. That’s a formality most of the time, but it’s worth mentioning in his case, as the Indians canceled a minor league deal with Garland last spring after he didn’t take his physical. The 33-year-old right-hander didn’t end up pitching at all last year.

Garland had a 4.33 ERA over nine starts with the Dodgers in 2011 prior to undergoing rotator cuff surgery. He’s probably a long shot candidate to contribute with the Mariners this season, but you can’t go wrong on a minor league deal.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.