Camden Yards assault victim’s condition deteriorates

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Bad news from Baltimore. The condition of Mathew Fortese, the man who was attacked by two fans during last week’s Nats-Orioles game has grown worse. The report from WBAL:

Baltimore police said the condition of a man who was knocked unconscious after he was punched and fell during a baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards last week has gotten worse … Police said Fortese suffered a skull fracture. He was taken to Shock Trauma, where he was initially listed in serious condition.  He was downgraded to critical condition Monday evening, Shock Trauma officials said.

The two men who attacked Fortese are Gregory Fleischman and Michael Bell. They were charged with first- and second-degree assault and disorderly conduct and second-degree assault and disorderly conduct, respectively. Here’s hoping for Fortese’s sake and fate that the charges won’t need to be revised upward.

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.