Vicente Padilla to undergo MRI exam on sore right elbow

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Last week I wrote about the Dodgers’ impressive pitching depth, noting that their sixth starter likely headed to the bullpen, Vicente Padilla, could be the third starter on a lot of teams.

Exhibition games haven’t even started yet and that depth may already have vanished, as Padilla has left Dodgers camp and returned to Los Angeles to undergo an MRI exam following elbow soreness that the team’s official Twitter feed describes as “similar pains as last year.”

Padilla missed about two months of last season with an elbow injury, heading to the disabled list in mid-April after beginning the season with a 6.65 ERA through four outings. He had a 3.31 ERA in 12 starts after returning in mid-June and then re-signed with the Dodgers for just $3 million in guaranteed money and the chance to earn twice that much in incentives.

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.