From MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli comes word that the Orioles have scratched Jason Hammel from his scheduled Thursday start against the Rangers with what is being termed “right knee soreness.”
An MRI taken Wednesday on Hammel’s knee revealed only inflammation and fluid buildup — with no structural damage. So the Orioles are confident that he’ll be able to avoid the 15-day disabled list.
A replacement for Thursday hasn’t been named.
Hammel, 29, has posted a fantastic 2.09 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 38/11 K/BB ratio through 38 2/3 innings this year. Baltimore enters Wednesday night’s action with a 19-11 record, which is tied for first in the AL East.
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.