Maury Brown, who keeps good track of this stuff, notes that while attendance remains flat overall compared to last year, this past weekend several marks were set.
- The Saturday game between the Phillies and Nationals drew 44,685, which was the largest crowd at Nationals Park history;
- The Cardinals Cubs game on Saturday drew 42,374 which was the largest crowd in Wrigley Field since 1978; and
- The three-game series between the Indians and the Tigers drew 132,239, which was the biggest three-game series in Comerica Park history. No doubt boosted by that Willie Hernandez tribute before Saturday’s game, right?
It’ll be interesting to see what happens to attendance in September as everyone comes to grips with the fact that hardly any of the games are going to matter for playoff purposes. But as this past weekend shows, people don’t really have any problem going to the ballpark on a nice day just for the hell of it.
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.