In news that won’t quell Orioles fans’ fears any, Zach Britton will get a second opinion on his injured shoulder from Dr. James Andrews.
Last month Jim Duquette of MLB.com reported that Britton’s injury was lingering longer than initially expected and could put his status for Opening Day in jeopardy.
Britton immediately tried to downplay that talk, saying his arm “felt like brand new” after throwing a 40-pitch bullpen session, but the 24-year-old southpaw apparently requested the meeting with Dr. Andrews when inflammation resurfaced recently.
Britton posted a 6.75 ERA in 12 starts after July 1 last season, so at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if a significant injury is found and at the very least he’ll begin this season on the disabled list.
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.