Today is Jackie Robinson Day around Major League Baseball. The Yankees had planned on doing something pretty cool today in honor of another great leader and pioneer: they were going to place a plaque for Nelson Mandela in Monument Park. Unfortunately, steady rain forecast for tonight has postponed the game and the ceremonies, and now both will take place tomorrow.
In town for the festivities: Jackie Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson, his daughter Sharon Robinson, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, Rev. Al Sharpton as well as several members of Nelson Mandela’s family, South African officials and figures in Mandela’s foundation.
Now they get a nice honor for Mandela and a twin-bill to boot.
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.