Mets players think the team is "babying" Jose Reyes

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jose reyes headshot mets.jpgAn unidentified Mets player told Mike Puma of the New York Post that there is a prevailing feeling in the Mets’ clubhouse
that Jose Reyes is being “babied” because the team fears a public relations disaster if he hurts his hamstring again. The player said, in response to the team hemming and hawing about letting Reyes start the season in New York, that “It’s kind of silly. You play the game. You can get
hurt as easily playing [a minor league exhibition] as playing on Opening
Day.”

I see the player’s point, but it’s not like the Mets can’t limit Reyes in a rehab setting in ways they can’t necessarily limit him in the bigs. He could stay in Florida for extended spring training during which he’d focus more on conditioning and running. He could, as Puma noted he did yesterday in his return to game action, be instructed not to do things like leg out doubles. He could avoid any chilly weather that might make it harder to get loose and stuff.  There are potential advantages.

Ultimately this seems more like a communication and trust problem than a Reyes health problem. If the unnamed player is right and there is a strong feeling in the clubhouse that the Mets aren’t handling Reyes properly, it’s either because the team isn’t being straight with the players about it all or because the players simply don’t trust the team’s handling of injuries and rehab.

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.