Gerrit Cole roughed up in rehab start at AAA Indianapolis

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Gerrit Cole was scratched from a scheduled rehab outing last Friday night at Triple-A Indianapolis, with Pirates general manager Neal Huntington claiming that the right-hander needed to “refine some things.”

The extra work on the side didn’t do much good.

As noted by Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Cole got shelled for five earned runs on 10 hits and a walk in his return to action Tuesday night at Indy. He was pulled after just 4 1/3 innings.

Cole obviously isn’t going to return to the Pirates’ rotation this weekend, as had been the hope.

He has been on the disabled list since July 5 because of a strained right lat muscle.

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.