Beckham pranked by White Sox GM Kenny Williams

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White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham has struggled overall this season after a stellar 2009 debut and he was linked in a few different trade rumors over the past week.  With those rumors in mind — false or not — GM Kenny Williams decided to play a prank on the youngster just before Saturday’s trade deadline.

This link from the Chicago Tribune has video of Beckham explaining the situation. 

A “stern-looking” Williams motioned the second baseman into a closed-door meeting room where manager Ozzie Guillen was sitting, and the general manager took over from there.

“I had Ozzie close the door and sat Gordon down in the chair and said,
‘Well, I would really like to say one thing to you before I get into the
nuts and bolts of this stuff,'” Williams said. “‘That at-bat you had
last night, where you pushed across that run, it was one of the best
at-bats you had all year. I just want to say nice job.’

Beckham replies “that’s it?” and laughter ensues.  He is hitting .372/.395/.603 in the month of July with three homers and 13 RBI, but his overall numbers are still pretty ugly.  Maybe the nerves he experienced during Saturday’s prank will work like a shot in the arm.  For now the 23-year-old has a .664 OPS over 327 at-bats.

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.

Ervin Santana gets Opening Day nod from Twins again

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Ervin Santana will once again start on Opening Day for the Twins, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. He’ll face the Royals at home in a day game on Monday, April 3.

The last pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for the Twins was Carl Pavano in 2011-12.

Santana, 34, is entering the third year of a four-year, $55 million contract signed in December 2014. Last season, the right-hander finished with a solid 3.38 ERA and a 149/53 K/BB ratio over 181 1/3 innings.