Braves closer Billy Wagner suffered a strained left oblique Saturday in Game 2 of Atlanta’s NLDS matchup with the Giants. He tried throwing on Sunday morning but did not feel well, according to Jeff Flectcher of AOL Fanhouse, and is going to be replaced on the club’s postseason roster by Takashi Saito. Well, if MLB approves the move.
Saito was unavailable to the Braves down the stretch because of a shoulder injury, but he threw in an instructional league game last week and is again ready to contribute. A 40-year-old righty, he posted a fantastic 2.83 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 69/17 K/BB ratio over 54 innings during the regular season.
Wagner won’t be returning for the NLCS, if the Braves advance, and may be done altogether. He informed the world in August that he will retire after 2010.
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.
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.