Newly-signed Athletics’ starter Justin Duchscherer participated in a conference call with local reporters today. The Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports that he discussed his battle with depression at length during the call and has some of the details and flavor of it all here.
Dealing with depression is a tough enough row to hoe, but the fact that Duchscherer did it (a) without the aid of anti-depressants, which he felt wouldn’t be the best thing for an athlete’s body; and (b) did it away from his team and day-to-day routine due to his injury rehab makes his rebound all the more remarkable.
I don’t see many A’s games back east, but I think I’m going to make a point to seek out the Duchscherer starts this coming season. He sounds like someone worth rooting for.
The Orioles have re-signed infielder Pedro Alvarez to a minor league deal, per a report from Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. The deal guarantees Alvarez $1 million if he makes the 40-man roster and another $2 million in potential performance bonuses. The team has yet to confirm the deal.
This will be Alvarez’s third year with the Orioles. After posting decent numbers in 2016, the 31-year-old was relegated to the minors for the majority of the 2017 season and saw only 14 games at the big league level. He finished the year with an underwhelming .239/.294/.442 batting line and 26 home runs through 595 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk.
Alvarez is expected to split his time between first base and DH this spring, and MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli notes that he’s unlikely to experiment with another outfield role. While he isn’t too far removed from his last productive season in the majors, the veteran infielder will function purely as insurance for first baseman Chris Davis and designated hitter Mark Trumbo and will likely begin the season in the minors.