Is Pedro going to get shelled tonight?

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FOX’s Ken Rosenthal is generally pro-Phillies in this column and likes them to win it all, but he’s got a good point here:

Hey, I love Pedro. It is foolish to bet against him. But no one has any idea how he will pitch in cool weather against an American League club using a DH, one that happened to be the highest-scoring team in the majors during the regular season

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, working the Series for FOX, says Martinez will be tough if he throws his breaking ball for strikes. The Yankees, if they start to press, might even prove easy prey, given Martinez’s ability to change speeds and read hitters.

Of course, the other, perhaps more realistic, possibility is that the Yankees will simply crush Martinez and his diminished, 87-90 mph fastball.

I’m a huge Pedro Martinez fan myself, and my own World Series prediction notwithstanding (I need the Phillies to lose four of five to be proven correct) nothing would make me happier to see him catch some 1999 lightning in a bottle tonight.

Like Rosenthal, however, I just don’t like his chances of doing it.  Cliff Lee has proven over the past two years that when he’s on the top of his game, he is basically untouchable.  The 2009 version of Pedro Martinez, however, is merely good at his best, eminently hittable if he’s off. And that’s when he’s not facing the Yankees, who have basically had his number over the course of his career.

The Yankees are due, and I think Martinez will be hit hard tonight.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.

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.