Josh Hamilton opens Angels career 1-for-20 with 10 strikeouts

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It’s obviously way too early to panic, but Josh Hamilton’s Angels career is off to a slow start.

The $133 million man went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Saturday and is now 1-for-20 with 10 strikeouts through the first five games of Anaheim’s regular-season schedule. The Rangers, intimately familiar with Hamilton’s random offensive funks, gave Albert Pujols three intentional passes Saturday. Which contributed to Hamilton stranding six baserunners.

The Angels won Saturday’s game in Texas by a score of 8-4 because the rest of the lineup managed 12 hits and eight runs, and because starter Tommy Hanson pitched six solid innings. They’re now 2-3 on the year.

Hamilton batted .395/.438/.744 with nine homers in his first 96 plate appearances last season.

Through 23 plate appearances this season the 31-year-old outfielder is hitting .050/.208/.050.

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.