Josh Hamilton's fractured ribs feeling better after injections

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Josh Hamilton reported feeling better yesterday after receiving an epidural injection and several cortisone shots for his fractured ribs earlier this week, but there’s still no timetable yet for his return.
Hamilton rode a stationary bike for 15 minutes yesterday and also did what T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com described as “some light exercises.” Here’s what he said afterward:

Today was the first day I got my breath going and was out of breath. That’s encouraging. The shots seem to be helping with the pain factor. I’m going to keep doing something every day as long as it’s not setting me back.

Upon being diagnosed with the rib fractures Hamilton expressed hope that he could rejoin the lineup for the final 4-5 games of the season, but according to Sullivan the goal is now for the MVP candidate to return for the final three games with an eye toward getting him “12-15 at-bats in preparation for the playoffs.”

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.