The Orioles are sniffing around for some starting pitching help

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Orioles’ starting pitchers have allowed just two runs across 26 innings (0.69 ERA) over the first four games of the season, but don’t let that fool you.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Orioles are currently “poking around” for fifth-starter types.

Justin Duchscherer and Brian Matusz are both on the disabled list and will likely be sidelined for the entire first month of the season. Jeremy Guthrie is spending another night in the hospital due to pneumonia and is a question mark to start this weekend. Likewise, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman have a grand total of 44 major league starts between them, so the Orioles could certainly use some insurance, even of the mediocre variety.

We haven’t heard any specific names yet, but some notable free agents include the recently-released Carlos Silva and Doug Davis, who is coming back from elbow surgery. The Orioles were one of eight teams present when Davis threw a bullpen session late last month.

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.