Blue Jays right-hander Jesse Litsch was shut down last week due to shoulder soreness and given an anti-inflammatory injection in the area of the pain.
Litsch was only supposed to miss a couple of days while the shot took effect. But the 26-year-old has now been ruled out for the start of the 2012 season.
According to beat writer Gregor Johns of MLB.com, the injection caused an infection in Litsch’s right arm and he had to undergo emergency surgery this weekend to have the infection removed.
Litsch will not be allowed to pick up a baseball for the next six weeks and is doubtful to be back to 100 percent health by the end of April. He registered a 4.44 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 75 innings last season.
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.