Jamie Moyer looks like the No. 5 starter in Philly

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Thumbnail image for moyer small.jpgAnother fifth-starter battle was all but settled on Friday night, as Jamie Moyer tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings against a Yankees lineup that included all regulars with the exception of Nick Johnson and Jorge Posada. Moyer struck out six and retired the final 15 batters he faced. Quite a statement.

Just one week ago, it looked like Moyer had quite a battle on his hands with Kyle Kendrick. You’d think at this point the 47-year-old lefty would have experienced everything in this game, but he told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the competition was unfamiliar territory.

“I didn’t really know what to expect, because I haven’t been through
this kind of thing in the past,” Moyer said. “So, you know what? Go wing
it. See what happens.”
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Some cynics may point to Moyer’s $6.5 million contract as a distinct advantage he held over Kendrick anyway, but he deserves some real credit for fighting back and actually earning the job after undergoing three offseason surgeries.

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.