Jeff Karstens scratched Sunday due to shoulder discomfort

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Some bad news this morning out of Pirates camp.

According to beat writer Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, right-handed starter Jeff Karstens has been scratched from his scheduled Grapefruit League outing Sunday against the Orioles because of “continuing shoulder discomfort.”

Karstens reported feeling soreness in his right shoulder on February 19 — after one of his first throwing sessions of the spring. It was manageable for a while but is now causing him great discomfort. He will open the 2013 regular season on the 15-day disabled list, without a mapped-out return timetable.

Karstens posted a 3.97 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 90 2/3 innings last season while fighting hip and shoulder injuries. Jeff Locke, Jonathan Sanchez, Kyle McPherson and Jeanmar Gomez are fighting for his spot.

Report: Yankees close to signing Gio González to minor league deal

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Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are close to signing starter Gio González. Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the deal is of the minor league variety that will pay González $3 million if he makes the major league roster.

González, 33, made 27 starts for the Nationals before being sent to the Brewers ahead of the now-defunct August 31 waiver trade deadline. In aggregate, González went 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA and a 148/80 K/BB ratio in 171 innings. He was solid in his five starts with the Brewers, going 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA.

Neither Luis Severino nor CC Sabathia will be ready for the start of the season, so González will add some immediate depth at the back of the Yankees’ rotation. Sabathia will likely return before Severino. When that happens, González may be pushed out of the rotation.