Ryan Zimmerman resumes baseball activities

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Ryan Zimmerman, who has been on the disabled list for the past two weeks with an abdominal strain, resumed some light baseball activities at Nats Park this afternoon.

According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, Zimmerman played catch from 60 feet, fielded some light grounders and jogged about 90 feet several times.

It’s good news, but he’s still at least a week away from rejoining the big club. Zimmerman hasn’t yet taken live batting practice and Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said he’ll need to go out on a brief minor league rehab assignment before being activated from the disabled list.

“I think he’ll find his timing at the plate relatively quick,” manager Jim Riggleman said before Tuesday’s game against the Mets. “But it’s the other parts of the game — all the game stuff that happens, the running, the diving, taking an extra base, sliding, quick movements — that we really want to make sure he doesn’t re-aggravate this injury.”

Zimmerman was batting .357 (10-for-28) with one home run and four RBI prior to the injury.

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.