Yeah, Kelvim Escobar is hurt

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I took no joy in being the first guy to report a few weeks ago that Kelvim Escobar had more wrong with him than a mere “tired shoulder,” and I take even less joy in having that essentially confirmed by Adam Rubin this morning:

Kelvim Escobar
(shoulder) halted throwing even on flat ground. “When I tried to throw
last week it was weak. It didn’t feel right.”

The Mets will survive without Escobar, so the biggest question isn’t necessarily what they’ll do for a setup man. The biggest question is how much the Mets knew about the state of his shoulder when they signed him, and whether he really should have been pitching in the winter leagues this year.

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.