Orioles draft pick Kevin Grendell suspended 50 games

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Orioles pitching prospect Kevin Grendell, who was an 11th-round pick in June’s draft out of a California high school, has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for a banned substance called Dehydroepiandrosterone.

Grendell had been pitching in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where the left-hander got knocked around for 15 runs in 17 innings during his pro debut.

Because the minor-league season is over he’ll have to sit out the first couple months of next year.

According to my extensive Wikipedia research Dehydroepiandrosterone is a steroid hormone and the same drug NBA players O.J. Mayo and Rashard Lewis were suspended for using a few years back. It is legal to buy in the United States as a dietary supplement.

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.