Chris Narveson expected to be recovered from shoulder surgery by spring training

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Chris Narveson, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery two starts into 2012, “is expected to be back to 100 percent well before the start of spring training,” according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.

However, as it stands now he wouldn’t be assured of a spot in the Brewers’ rotation with Yovani Gallardo, Marco Estrada, Mike Fiers, Wily Peralta, Mark Rogers, and Tyler Thornburg also competing for jobs and the possibility of a late free agent addition joining the mix.

McCalvy writes that it “promises to be a spirited competition for four spots behind” Gallardo and Narveson admitted that competition “is what baseball is all about” because “it breeds better players and better teams.”

Before the injury Narveson had been a solid fourth or fifth starter for two seasons in Milwaukee and has a 4.68 ERA in 63 career starts, but the 31-year-old left-hander also has some experience as a reliever.

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.

Ervin Santana gets Opening Day nod from Twins again

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Ervin Santana will once again start on Opening Day for the Twins, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. He’ll face the Royals at home in a day game on Monday, April 3.

The last pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for the Twins was Carl Pavano in 2011-12.

Santana, 34, is entering the third year of a four-year, $55 million contract signed in December 2014. Last season, the right-hander finished with a solid 3.38 ERA and a 149/53 K/BB ratio over 181 1/3 innings.