Bill Bray had to cut a bullpen session short after aggravating a groin injury and if he’s unavailable for Opening Day the Reds may shift Aroldis Chapman back to the bullpen.
All offseason the Reds talked about stretching out Chapman for a potential move to the rotation, but they have plenty of starter depth even without him and Bay’s injury could leave a key hole in the left-handed setup corps.
Or as manager Dusty Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer: “That’s a pretty good backup plan.”
For now Fay reports that Chapman remains scheduled to start tomorrow’s game against the Giants, so he’ll probably stay in limbo until the Reds have a better idea of Bray’s recovery timetable.
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.