Rays promote Rocco Baldelli to Triple-A

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Rocco Baldelli will continue his unlikely comeback with Triple-A Durham, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.

Baldelli was hired as a special assistant minor league coach with the Rays this season, however he decided to continue his playing career last month. The 28-year-old batted .283/.298/.370 with four doubles and six RBI in 12 games with High-A Charlotte. He was 3-for-4 with a walk on Thursday, playing in back-to-back games for the first time.

Baldelli batted a meager .253/.311/.433 with seven homers, 23 RBI and a 744 OPS in 150 at-bats with the Red Sox last season, so expectations aren’t particularly high for him at this point, but there’s a chance he could be promoted when rosters expand in September.

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.