Corey Hart is “dejected” and nowhere close to returning

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Corey Hart has had multiple setbacks in his recovery from January knee surgery and six months later the Brewers first baseman still isn’t close to returning, leaving him understandably frustrated.

Here’s what he said to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who described Hart as “dejected”:

Our timetable was off, so now we’re taking it day by day. They definitely overshot and it gave me optimism and hope. At the same time, it wasn’t realistic. So, I’m just trying to grind it out and see what happens. It’s definitely gotten better, but their timetable just never happened. They would say one thing and it never happened. I can do everything; I just can’t do everything as good as I need to. I don’t have the strength in it I need.

According to Haudricourt “at this point, it’s not completely out of the question that he will miss the entire season.”

That’s quite a change from the initial timetable that had him returning in May and in Hart’s extended absence the Brewers have gotten by far the worst production in baseball from their first basemen, who’ve combined to hit .180 with five homers and a .506 OPS in 74 games.

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.