Baltimore Orioles Acquire RHP Alec Asher, Had a Terrific 2016 (Minus Suspension)

The Baltimore Orioles added some pitching depth on Tuesday by acquiring right-handed pitcher Alec Asher from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later. Asher is coming off of a terrific calendar year of performance in 2016, with one hiccup.

Photo: Patrick Cavey

Asher, 25, pitched extremely well in 2016, whether it was when he was in the minors, the big leagues or winter ball in the Dominican Winter League.

Over five starts with the Phillies, Asher went 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA and 0.94 WHIP over five starts and 27.2 innings pitched. He struck out 13 over that stretch and walked just four.

He also made 12 starts across three levels in the Phillies' minor league system last year as well. Over those 12 starts, Asher went 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA and a 0.897 WHIP over 64.2 innings pitched.

Having only totaled 92.1 innings pitched during the year, Asher decided to play in the Dominican Winter League to help build his innings, and made 12 starts for the Gigantes. Over those starts, Asher went 2-1 with a 1.99 ERA and a 0.711 WHIP over 63.1 innings pitched. He didn't strike many batters out (31), but he also didn't give up very many free passes either (6).

Why did he only accrue 92 innings during the year?

That's where the hiccup comes in. On June 16 of last season, he was suspended 80 games for violating MLB's drug policy after testing positive for the steroid chlorodehydromethyltestosterone.

If there is any light to the end of that tunnel, it's that he pitched well after the suspension was over.

Over 110 career minor league games, 89 of which were starts, Asher owns a career 3.39 ERA and a 1.164 WHIP over 520.2 innings pitched. The most impressive thing about him is the fact that he does not walk very many, having issued just 133 walks in his minor league career.

He has two minor league options remaining (he is on the 40-man roster), so he will likely begin the year in Norfolk's starting rotation, but he is a guy we will most likely see in Baltimore at some point in 2017.


Be sure to like Baby Birdland on Facebook, Google+ and follow our Twitter account!