Jose Bautista gets tossed, throws equipment onto field

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Jose Bautista came late to stardom, but he pitched a fit any diva would have been proud of after getting fanned by the Rays’ James Shields for the third time tonight.

Bautista yelled at home-plate umpire Bill Welke, took his bat to the dugout wall and threw his bat and helmet onto the field after being tossed from the game in the sixth inning. He had struck out in all three of his plate appearances.

Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune points out that Shields became the first pitcher since Felix Hernandez on Sept. 24, 2009 to strike out Bautista three times in a game.

Bautista, a top candidate for AL MVP honors, entered the night with a .317 average, 37 homers and 82 RBI.  He had 83 strikeouts and 105 walks in 117 games.

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.