I follow Mike Gentz on Twitter. Mostly because his avatar is Wooderson from “Dazed and Confused.” Also because he’s around my age and his youthful baseball memories — centering on the Ralph Houk/Les Moss/Sparky Anderson Tigers — match my own pretty perfectly. Oh, and he’s a nice guy too.
Unfortunately, he and his two boys have had a horrible, awful year as Mike’s wife Dawn died of melanoma in April. Watching him from afar, via Twitter, as he has dealt with his loss while being there for his boys, running a business and still trying to keep up with his beloved Detroit Tigers has been at turns sad, funny, touching and always moving. Life goes on, even when it’s hard.
Recently the Detroit Tigers did something really nice for Mike: they invited him and his sons to Comerica Park for a day with the team. Mike wrote it up today over at the Bless You Boys blog. You want to go check it out now.
Great job, Tigers. And great job Mike.
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.