Like, the literal stroke or swing he had before. He told Bill Shaikin yesterday about the adjustments he’s had to make since hurting his shoulder at the end of 2010 and how his efforts to go back to that old uppercut swing have not paid off for him:
“Last year, I tried to go back to the swing I had before I got hurt,” he said. “I tried it for the whole first half, with horrible results” … He said he is most effective now with a flatter swing that generates more line drives, rather than an upward swing that produces more power.
We’ll call it a reverse Palmiero, I suppose. And for what it’s worth, if he can keep his average up over .300 and hit doubles at the clip he’s hit them at these past couple of years, it’s totally doable. Even if it’s not what Boston and L.A. thought they were getting when they acquired him.
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 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.