Jack Morris + Mariano Rivera = Bert Blyleven

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This is fun: Bill at the Platoon Advantage engaged in a little alternate history exercise. He pretended that, rather than retire, Jack Morris came back in 1995 as a knuckleball-throwing closer and tacked the entire career of Mariano Rivera onto his career stat line. Aside from that being the most awesome thing that would have ever happened, it also would have given Morris a career line that — minus the saves — would be pretty darn close to Bert Blyleven’s.

Again, in case that is not 100% clear: only if you add on a 15-run like Mariano Rivera’s to Morris career does he begin to compare to Blyleven in ERA, strikeouts and innings pitched.

I realize this kind of comparison is sorta out there. Indeed, in even making it, Bill kinda sounds like Jayson Stark on a day he let his research staff go home early.  But it’s also instructive in the same way that it was instructive for your junior high school science teacher to take you out to the parking lot and have two students hold marbles at either end in an effort demonstrate just how great the distance is between the planets or whatever.  We think Morris is close to being a Hall of Fame pitcher, but once you look at it closely, you realize just how far from being one he truly is.

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.