Phillies starter Joe Blanton landed on the disabled list in mid-May with inflammation in his right elbow.
He’s had numerous setbacks since, and now word comes from Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the right-hander is headed back to Philadelphia to have the elbow examined by team physicians.
Blanton has already paid a visit to Dr. James Andrews, who did not recommend surgery, and he’s undergone a wide range of tests on the elbow, including an ultrasound. But the lack of improvement continues, and is only getting more worrisome.
Blanton, 30, had a 5.50 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in six starts before the elbow problems creeped up on him. The Phillies, meanwhile, have been getting excellent production from fill-in fifth starter Vance Worley.
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.