Here’s Astros outfielder Michael Bourn, venting on the large contingent of Red Sox fans that has overtaken Houston’s Minute Maid Park this weekend:
“Their fan base is huge. When we are playing the Red Sox, you hear ‘Let’s go Red Sox!’ loud. I’m like, ‘We’re in our home stands.’ I want to hear, ‘Let’s go Astros!’ I don’t want to hear a visiting team overtaking our team. We have to get our fans to come out and the only way we can do that is by winning.”
It’s a frustration that many losing teams know well, and the Astros don’t appear likely to climb out of the gutter anytime soon. They have an organization-wide lack of talent and a changing ownership situation. Attendance is not going to be strong at Minute Maid Park while the rebuilding effort is in full swing.
The ‘Stros drew 2.8 million fans in 2005, when they made it all the way to the World Series. In 2006, 3.02 million packed into Minute Maid. This season, it’s looking like they’ll have trouble topping 2.3 million.
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.
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.