Alex Rodriguez has Minnesota to thank for his playoff reputation not being even worse

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If you think Alex Rodriguez has a terrible reputation for his playoff performance now, just imagine what things would be like without the Twins’ pitching staff around.

As a lifelong Minnesotan and Twins fan I have some pretty vivid memories of A-Rod destroying my favorite team in the playoffs, and sure enough I crunched the numbers to find these startling stats:

For his postseason career Rodriguez has hit .391 with three homers and a 1.094 OPS in 10 games against the Twins, compared to hitting .246 with 10 homers and a .774 OPS in 62 games against every other team.

Unfortunately for Rodriguez and the Yankees the Twins might not be back in the playoffs for a while.

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.