The Pirates season: poor even by their own awful standards

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Dejan Kovacevic had a lot of time to do some research in the PNC Park press box last night:

Perhaps the one good thing about the Pirates’ many miseries in
recent years is that they have resurrected the classic names of Crazy
Schmit, Phenomenal Smith and Peek-A-Boo Veach.

Those were just a few of the farmers and mill workers who comprised
the 1890 Pittsburg Alleghenies, the infamous worst team in franchise
history and the one invariably cited anytime a futility record is
challenged . . . That 3-21 stretch now is the second-worst in such a span over the
franchise’s 123-year history, with the 1890 team’s… um, phenomenal
3-35 finish to that 23-113 season still standing alone.

Kovacevic is one of my favorite beat writers.  Seeing his work during the heat of a pennant race would be nice, but at this point I’d love to see what he could do if he had even a run-of-the-mill bad team to cover.

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.