Brewers’ Casey McGehee survives kneecap scare

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Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee had to be carted off a Cactus League field on Thursday afternoon after taking a pitch in his right kneecap. Fortunately, it sounds like he’s going to be just fine.

Adam McCalvy of MLB.com heard from club officials that X-rays taken on McGehee’s knee soon after his removal showed no structural damage. The 28-year-old bearded infielder was diagnosed with a contusion and is considered day-to-day.

McGehee slugged 23 homers and tallied 104 RBI in 157 games last season for Milwaukee despite posting an underwhelming .801 OPS. The Brewers are hoping that luck will be on his side again in 2011 as they look to capture the National League Central title on the back of a revamped starting rotation.

If McGehee is still displaying problems with his knee when Opening Day arrives, the Brewers may be compelled to carry former top prospect Mat Gamel for the regular season’s first couple weeks.

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.