Max Scherzer scratched from Friday start with more shoulder problems

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So much for Max Scherzer being past his shoulder fatigue.

After skipping a start last week he rejoined the Tigers’ rotation Sunday with a decent five-inning outing against the Twins, but now Scherzer has been scratched from tomorrow’s scheduled start.

Scherzer’s fastball velocity was down versus Minnesota and the right-hander told Jason Beck of MLB.com that he had some discomfort and “lost my range of motion” following a between-starts bullpen session.

There’s no timetable for when he’ll throw again, let alone when he’ll start again, and now the Tigers are calling the injury a strained deltoid rather than merely shoulder fatigue. Drew Smyly will start in his place this weekend and now even if the Tigers can hang onto the AL Central lead they may be without their second-best pitcher in the playoffs.

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.