Twins top prospect Kyle Gibson needs Tommy John surgery

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Kyle Gibson was supposed to be in Minnesota’s rotation by now, but instead the Twins’ top prospect and 2009 first-round pick won’t see the majors before 2013.

Last month Gibson was shut down at Triple-A following a brutal six-week stretch and the Twins diagnosed with him a partially torn elbow ligament. They advised him to try rest and rehab rather than immediately going under the knife, but today the team announced that Gibson will indeed have Tommy John surgery on September 7.

There’s an outside chance he could see some game action in the minors late next season, but with the typical 12-18 month recovery timetable the best-case scenario for Gibson reaching the majors is now likely mid-2013. What a depressing season for the Twins.

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.