Aaron Rowand on NLCS roster, Barry Zito likely off

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The Giants haven’t officially announced their roster for the NLCS against the Phillies — Bruce Bochy plans to speak with his players later tonight — but some early pieces are starting to fall into place.

According to Andrew Baggarly of San Jose Mercury News, Bochy just announced that Aaron Rowand will be on the roster. Rowand was also on the roster during the NLDS against the Braves and went 1-for-2 with a strikeout.

Meanwhile, Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes that it “looks like” Barry Zito will be left off the Giants’ roster for a second straight round. Madison Bumgarner is currently installed as the team’s fourth starter, so the high-priced left-hander would have only pitched out of the bullpen. It’s not a given, though. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Zito or Dan Runzler, another left-hander, could still replace Guillermo Mota on the roster against the lefty-heavy Phillies. Stay tuned.

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.