Congressman says Andy Pettitte was the key to Clemens' indictment

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We’ve all been talking about the difficulty of the Roger Clemens-Brian McNamee he-said-he-said game, but at least one prominent member of the congressional committee that led to this mess said that the key to the referral to the U.S. Attorney’s office (which eventually led to the indictment) was Andy Pettitte’s testimony:

Andy Pettitte’s sworn statement that Roger Clemens admitted using human growth hormone was a critical factor in a federal
grand jury’s decision to indict Clemens on charges he lied to Congress,
according to the top Republican on the House committee that held a 2008
hearing on performance-enhancing substances in baseball.

“If it was just Roger versus [Brian] McNamee, it’s a different
matchup . . . Without Pettitte,
neither McNamee nor Clemens was that articulate or credible.”

That top Republican is former Rep. Tom Davis of Virgina, speaking to Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.

Andy Pettitte, it’s worth noting, is not having a great week.  His groin won’t heal, for one thing. And now he’s coming to grips with the fact that the experience he so obviously dreaded back in 2007-08 is coming back again, and with it his need to testify.

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.