Mat Gamel aggravates surgically-repaired right knee

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Bad news this afternoon out of Brewers camp.

According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, first baseman Mat Gamel aggravated his surgically-repaired right knee Saturday during a workout.

Gamel told reporters recently that he has “good days and bad days” with the knee and Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash sent word to the media shortly after today’s incident that the team was “just being careful” in cutting Gamel’s workout short. But it’s pretty obvious that things are not going well.

Gamel was supposed to serve as the Brewers’ starting first baseman this season while Corey Hart recovers from January knee surgery. But Milwaukee might need another backup plan.

Gamel tore his ACL last May and hasn’t appeared in a game since.

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.