Mike Minor could join the Braves’ rotation as soon as Saturday

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The Braves have surprised with a major league-best 1.54 ERA from their starters so far this season, but their rotation is about to get even stronger.

According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mike Minor could be activated from the disabled list to start Saturday against the Reds. Minor underwent a urinary tract procedure on December 31 and showed up to spring training with some shoulder soreness, but he made it through four minor league rehab appearances (three starts) without incident. The southpaw will be cleared to return if he feels good during a bullpen session tomorrow.

David Hale has a 2.93 ERA through three starts, but he will likely be sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett or be moved to the bullpen when Minor is activated.

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.

Ervin Santana gets Opening Day nod from Twins again

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Ervin Santana will once again start on Opening Day for the Twins, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. He’ll face the Royals at home in a day game on Monday, April 3.

The last pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for the Twins was Carl Pavano in 2011-12.

Santana, 34, is entering the third year of a four-year, $55 million contract signed in December 2014. Last season, the right-hander finished with a solid 3.38 ERA and a 149/53 K/BB ratio over 181 1/3 innings.