Orioles demote Tommy Hunter back to Triple-A

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For the second time this season the Orioles have optioned Tommy Hunter back to Triple-A, with the latest demotion coming after he failed to make it out of the fourth inning yesterday versus the Blue Jays.

Hunter has a 5.59 ERA and 31/14 K/BB ratio in 58 innings, allowing 13 homers and a .300 opponents’ batting average. He also wasn’t much good for the Orioles after they acquired him from the Rangers in the middle of last season, posting a 5.06 ERA with 11 homers allowed in 69 innings.

Triple-A call-up Miguel Gonzalez replaced Hunter on the roster, but the Orioles will likely look elsewhere for a rotation replacement because he’s mostly been a reliever this year. Baltimore also activated outfielder Endy Chavez from the disabled list, sending down Xavier Avery.

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.