Brandon Morrow scratched from Sunday start due to neck and back stiffness

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Brandon Morrow has already been pushed back once this week due to neck and back stiffness, but now the Blue Jays have scratched him Sunday’s scheduled start against the Red Sox. Chad Jenkins, who was called up from Triple-A Buffalo to take Rajai Davis’ spot on the roster, will make the start in his place.

According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca, the decision was made after Morrow played catch this morning with pitching coach Pete Walker. He underwent an MRI yesterday which revealed no structural damage, so the hope is that he’ll be ready to go Wednesday against the Giants.

“At this point it looks like I’m probably going to go Wednesday,” he said. “I came in this morning with the intention of pitching tomorrow but throwing, everything felt OK, I could go out there and pitch, but I don’t think it would be real effective. …

“It’s a big difference from just feeling good walking around, to throwing a baseball.”

Morrow is off to a disappointing start this season, posting a 4.69 ERA and 34/17 K/BB ratio in 40 1/3 innings over seven starts. Toronto’s starters are 29th in the majors this season with a 5.66 ERA. Only the Astros (5.99 ERA) have been worse.

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.