Jay Bruce to miss 6-8 weeks with fractured wrist

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Jay Bruce received
some good news and some bad news on his fractured right wrist this
afternoon. The good news is that he won’t need season-ending surgery
after an MRI exam revealed no damage to tendons or ligaments. The bad
news is that he’s still expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks and
could miss the remainder of the season without going under the knife.

Bruce was hitting just .207/.283/.441 in 83 games before the injury,
which is production that Chris Dickerson and Jonny Gomes should be able
to at least match if platooned. However, the ugly .207 batting average
masked the fact that Bruce was showing more power and plate discipline
than he did as a rookie and missing two months with a wrist injury puts
a major damper on the 22-year-old’s development.

Among the 112 outfielders in baseball history with at least 750
plate appearances through the age of 22, Bruce ranks 14th in Isolated
Power with Miguel Cabrera, Andruw Jones, and Barry Bonds directly in
front of him and Hank Aaron, Jose Canseco, and Justin Upton right
behind him. He’s already got the power-hitting part down and has also
improved his patience significantly as a sophomore, upping his walk
rate by 23 percent.

He’s posted a modest .749 OPS through his first 191 games in the
majors, but 39 homers, 71 total extra-base hits, and 63 walks in 785
plate appearances show that Bruce definitely has superstar potential if
his batting average rises. He’s whiffed in 22 percent of his trips to
the plate, which helps explain the lowly .235 career mark, but Bruce
hit .308 in the minors and should cut his strikeouts with more
experience.

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.