Phillies add Ryne Sandberg as third base coach, will go without bench coach

20 Comments

Philadelphia shook up its coaching staff yesterday, firing bench coach Pete Mackanin, hitting coach Greg Gross, and first base coach Sam Perlozzo within minutes of their final game ending.

Today they announced some of the replacements, including Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg as third base coach. As part of that move Juan Samuel moves to first base coach and the Phillies have also added Steve Henderson as their new hitting coach.

Apparently manager Charlie Manuel will go without an official bench coach, which is interesting, although holdover pitching coach Rich Dubee is sort of his right-hand man by default and as a former Triple-A manager presumably Sandberg could take on some of the usual bench coach role.

Philadelphia filled out the rest of the staff with Rod Nichols as bullpen coach, moving former bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer to catching coach.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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

Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
2 Comments

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.