Braves place Luis Ayala on DL with anxiety disorder

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Veteran right-handed reliever Luis Ayala was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Braves on Tuesday due to anxiety disorder, the team announced.

The news comes straight out of left field, given that Ayala has spent nine years in the big leagues without any public hint of previous problems. However, he is on a new team in Atlanta after the Orioles traded him earlier this month. The Braves became his seventh franchise when they picked him up for Chris Jones on April 10. He’s allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings since joining the team.

Ayala arrived in the majors in 2003 and immediately became a quality setup man for the Expos, picking up 10 wins, five saves and 19 holds as a rookie. He blew out his elbow in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, but returned and had a decent 2007 season for the Nationals. Things went downhill in 2008 and it looked like his career was just about over when he gave up 10 runs in 7 2/3 innings for the Marlins in 2009, but after spending the entirety of 2010 in the minors, he put together impressive showings in the majors for the Yankees in 2011 (2.09 ERA in 56 IP) and the Orioles last year (2.664 ERA in 75 IP).

David Carpenter was called up to replace Ayala in Atlanta’s bullpen.

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Update: Braves GM Frank Wren shed a little light on the situation early this evening:

 

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.