Joe Nathan is a total pro

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Nathan with fans.jpgIf I just found out that my season is likely over and my career was in jeopardy I’d probably kick the wall and not really want to talk to anyone.  Which is just one of approximately 1,325 reasons I’m not Joe Nathan. 

This morning he was the only one in Gardenhire’s office — media included — who had a stiff upper lip about the UCL news.  Then, as you can see above, he stood at the clubhouse entrance and signed autographs and stuff for a long, long time, never dropping the smile and returning every “hang in there, Joe” with a “thank you.”

I suppose some of you would say that for $11.5 million or whatever it is he’s making this year he should be expected to act this way, but I don’t buy the money-makes-all-the-difference line. Ballplayers are human and they want to compete. When they can’t, the have every right to be bummed about it, and usually are. 

Whatever the case, I’m really impressed with Joe Nathan today, and though I’m not a Twins fan, I really want to see him bounce back from this setback.

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.