Don't ever pitch to Adrian Gonzalez

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Adrian Gonzalez has walked a league-leading 57 times so far in 2009. He’s on pace to receive 108 free passes over the course of this season.

That’s not nearly enough.

Let’s look at the line for the Padres’ slugger: .274/.415/.606. That’s 24 home runs in 69 games, and a 1.021 OPS.

In the Padres lineup, Scott Hairston (.951 OPS) has presented a
consistent threat, but is just coming off the DL. Otherwise Gonzalez is
surrounded by the likes of David Eckstein (.680 OPS), Kevin Kouzmanoff
(.678) and Chase Headley (.674).

So when is it OK to pitch to Gonzalez? When you’re up 10-0 and you
like your bullpen. Otherwise, never. OK I’m exaggerating, but it really
is amazing pitchers aren’t smarter about this. Just put your ego aside
and put him on. Or hope he gets impatient and chases something on the
edges.

The Mariners, for example, were leading 1-0 in the fourth inning
Tuesday night. Garrett Olson had a man on first with nobody out.
Instead of walking Gonzalez and having two on with nobody out, he
grooved a pitch to the big lefty that hasn’t landed yet. Watch it! Padres 2, Mariners 1. It’s just stupid.

And while we’re handing out advice, the same rule applies to Albert Pujols.
The Cardinals star has a 1.159 OPS. The players around him? Skip
Schumaker (.754), Chris Duncan (.746), Ryan Ludwick (.744), and Rick
Ankiel (.705).

Just makes sense.

Orioles acquire Alec Asher from the Phillies

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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.

Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.

Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.

Ervin Santana gets Opening Day nod from Twins again

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Ervin Santana will once again start on Opening Day for the Twins, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. He’ll face the Royals at home in a day game on Monday, April 3.

The last pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for the Twins was Carl Pavano in 2011-12.

Santana, 34, is entering the third year of a four-year, $55 million contract signed in December 2014. Last season, the right-hander finished with a solid 3.38 ERA and a 149/53 K/BB ratio over 181 1/3 innings.