Derek Jeter says “no question” he’ll be in the Opening Day lineup

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Alex Rodriguez may end up missing the entire first half following hip surgery, but Derek Jeter thinks he’ll be in the Opening Day lineup despite breaking his ankle in the ALCS.

Just two weeks ago Yankees manager Joe Girardi called Jeter’s status for Opening Day “a little bit of a question mark” but today during a radio interview with Michael Kay the 38-year-old shortstop said there’s “no question” he’ll be ready for Game 1:

I’ll be in the walking boot for another few weeks and then I’ll be good to go. It’s been a long process. What’s it been, six or seven weeks, where I haven’t been able to move too much? But it’s healing probably just as expected. We still got a long way to go before the season starts but I’ll be ready.

Kay also asked Jeter about the New York Post photo suggesting he’d put on some weight during the rehab process and he brushed it off: “I thought it was pretty funny. I guess there’s a lot of things you can do with a picture.”

Sure enough Jeter took a picture yesterday with Harold Reynolds that shows he’s anything but chubby.

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.