Earlier this week I wondered if the Cardinals might use Allen Craig at second base once Lance Berkman returns from knee surgery, but Berkman isn’t even back yet and manager Mike Matheny is doing something even more surprising.
Matt Carpenter is starting at second base tonight despite the fact that he’s never played the position as a professional. In fact, Carpenter told FOX Sports Midwest that he can’t remember playing second base since he was 13 years old.
Carpenter’s bat is also definitely worth getting into the lineup and while most of his big-league action has come as a first baseman or corner outfielder he does have tons of minor-league experience at third base. Still, it’ll be very interesting to say the least.
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.