Giants may make decision on possible DL stint for Carlos Beltran tomorrow

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Carlos Beltran is out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game tonight with a strained right hand/wrist and it sounds like the Giants are close to making a decision about placing him on the disabled list.

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that Beltran has only made “marginal improvement” since receiving a cortisone shot Wednesday. While he was able to pick up a bat today for the first time since the injury, he is still feeling some pain in the back of his hand when he swings.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said they plan to wait until tomorrow to see if he makes further progress, but it sounds like a roster move isn’t far away.

“It’s so vital to swinging the bat to have your hand healthy enough to take a normal swing,” Bochy said. “Once he feels strong enough to handle the bat and take a normal swing, we’ll do it. We can’t risk losing him for a long period of time. We’ve got to be smart about it. This is a sensitive area.”

Beltran is batting .244/.261/.356 with one double, two triples and an 11/1 K/BB ratio over 46 plate appearances since being acquired from the Mets last month.

Nate Schierholtz is out of the lineup for the second straight game tonight with a sore right hip, so Aaron Rowand, Andres Torres and Cody Ross are starting from left to right in the outfield tonight against the Marlins.

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.

Ervin Santana gets Opening Day nod from Twins again

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Ervin Santana will once again start on Opening Day for the Twins, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. He’ll face the Royals at home in a day game on Monday, April 3.

The last pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for the Twins was Carl Pavano in 2011-12.

Santana, 34, is entering the third year of a four-year, $55 million contract signed in December 2014. Last season, the right-hander finished with a solid 3.38 ERA and a 149/53 K/BB ratio over 181 1/3 innings.