Andre Ethier has fracture in right pinkie finger

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ethier follow through.jpgDylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweeted late Saturday night that Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has been diagnosed with a fracture at the tip of his right pinkie finger.  It’s horrible news, especially when you consider how important Ethier has been for the red-hot 19-17 Dodgers this season.

Ethier, 28, leads the team in home runs (with 11), RBI (38) and OPS (1201).  He’s also sporting a Major League-best .392 batting average through 125 at-bats this season and has tallied 11 game-winning hits since 2008.

The Dodgers have not revealed enough information to give us a clear picture of how the fracture might affect Ethier moving forward.  Many players in the past have been able to fight through tiny breaks and continue slugging.  Then again, others have required surgeries and long stays on the disabled list.  We should all know more once the outfielder is reevaluated Sunday in Los Angeles.

If he is forced the miss time, the Dodgers could call up Xavier Paul, who is doing quite well this season at Triple-A Albuquerque with a .382/.427/.60 batting line in 76 at-bats.  Garret Anderson could also be asked to play more frequently in the outfield.  And same goes for Reed Johnson.

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.