Brian Roberts is feeling better

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Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has not played baseball since last May due to multiple concussions. And he missed all but 59 games in 2010 for the same reason. Earlier this month the outlook still seemed kinda grim.

There is some decent news now, though, as Roberts has continued to work out and is slowly getting back into something approaching a normal routine.  From an interview with Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com:

I haven’t had to take any days off, which is good.  [I’m] starting to continue to do a little more, starting to go out and watch some games and watch some innings and get in atmospheres and environments that I need to reacclimate to a little bit more …  it was good to get out there and kind of see some game speed stuff, track the ball and be in that sort of environment again.

It’s not a lot, but Roberts sounds at least somewhat hopeful.

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.