Media availability for the National League All-Stars is going on at the moment. These things are usually pretty rote “I’m just happy to be here” events. Occasionally, though, someone says something interesting. Clayton Kershaw just did.
At his press conference today NL Manager Bruce Bochy said that NL starting pitcher Matt Harvey would have been worthy of starting the game no matter where the game was being held:
“It wouldn’t have mattered what city we were playing in with the year he’s had.”
This seemingly benign comment goes against the view that Kershaw has been the better overall starter but that, in a close call, Harvey got the nod because he’s playing at home.
Kersahw certainly thinks it’s a hometown call, and didn’t much care for Bochy’s view that it wasn’t. He said to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times and other assembled reporters, “that’s his opinion” and “It hurts. Yeah, it hurts.”
Someone, I presume, is about to get a crash refresher course in how to give “I’m just happy to be here” quotes. For my part, though, I kinda like that he’s disappointed. I’m glad to see someone cares about it.
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.
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.