Russell Branyan will be starting at first base for the Tribe

Leave a comment

Branyan finally inked his deal with the Indians today, and Manny Acta anointed him the starting first baseman:

Russell Branyan passed his physical today and officially became the
Indians starting first baseman. That’s right he’ll be starting at first
base.
“He’s going to get the majority of playing time,” said manager Manny Acta. “We didn’t sign him to be a backup guy.

I figured that Branyan would have been more of a super-ute, spelling LaPorta early as he comes back from his injury, covering some left, maybe covering some third, but I guess not.  This should shift Matt LaPorta to leftfield and Michael Brantley to Columbus.

Which, while probably not what he had hoped for, he should like all the same. Columbus is way less depressing a city than Cleveland is.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
2 Comments

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.