Orioles place Zach Britton on disabled list with strained shoulder

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Zach Britton’s rookie campaign has taken another unfortunate turn.

According to Roch Kubato of MASNSports.com, the Orioles have placed Britton on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder. He was cleared to make room for Cesar Izturis, who is back from elbow surgery.

It’s always scary when you hear something about a pitcher’s shoulder, but hopefully this is more about fatigue and/or losing his mechanics than Britton being seriously hurt. The young left-hander has allowed 15 runs (10 earned) on 19 hits over two starts since returning from the minor leagues last Saturday.

Britton, 23, has a 4.66 ERA and 68/40 K/BB ratio over 20 starts this season. After posting an impressive 2.89 ERA through his first 10 major league starts, he has an ERA of 8.00 over his last 10 outings. Ouch.

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.