Pirates activate Gerrit Cole from the disabled list

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Via Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune, the Pirates have activated starter Gerrit Cole from the disabled list, hours before his scheduled start against the Mets on Saturday afternoon. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, the Pirates have optioned Brandon Cumpton back to Triple-A Indianapolis.

The 23-year-old Cole has been on the disabled list since June 4 with right shoulder fatigue. Prior to the injury, Cole posted a 3.64 ERA with a 69/25 K/BB ratio in 76 2/3 innings over 12 starts. He’ll oppose Jon Niese at PNC Park in his first start back.

Cumpton, 25, has been up and down between Indianapolis and Pittsburgh several times this season. He has a 4.61 ERA with a 32/12 K/BB ratio in 52 2/3 innings over nine major league starts.

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.