Carlos Ruiz is eligible to return from his 25-game amphetamine suspension on Sunday, but he’ll go out on a brief minor league rehab assignment first.
The Phillies announced this evening that Ruiz will begin a rehab stint tomorrow with High-A Clearwater. The veteran backstop was hit in the left wrist with a pitch last Friday during an extended spring training game, but Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that he was given a clean bill of health following a second set of X-rays.
Ruiz is coming off a career year in which he batted .324/.394/.540 with 16 home runs, 68 RBI and a .935 OPS. The 34-year-old is due to become a free agent after the 2013 season.
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.
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.