Jose Valverde warmed up for a save opportunity last night, but had to shut things down in the bullpen with wrist soreness and the Tigers instead turned to Phil Coke to close out the 6-3 win over the Cardinals.
Valverde showed up at the ballpark today feeling better, but told Jason Beck of MLB.com that he expects to miss at least 3-4 days and will be examined further by a wrist specialist before the Tigers decide if a disabled list stint is needed.
After converting all 49 of his regular season save chances last year Valverde has already blown three saves in 16 opportunities this year while posting a 4.18 ERA and nearly as many walks (17) as strikeouts (19) in 28 innings.
Joaquin Benoit is the likely fill-in closer, although Coke could get some save chances based on lefty-righty matchups.
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.