Buhner's new bat

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Jay Buhner was in M’s camp today showing off a new bat he’s helping a Washington-based sporting goods company develop:

It’s a new bat called the Axe, made of maple with a handle that’s shaped like, you guessed it, the handle of an axe . . . The idea, Trudeau said, is based on stories that
Ted Williams would swing an axe in the offeseason to build his swing.
The flatter shape of an axe handle fits the hand better than a
perfectly round bat. Not only that, but the knob is angled such that
Buhner believes hitters won’t suffer problems with hand fatigue or
hamate bone injuries that are more common with a traditional bat.

Makes me miss Skip Caray even more than I do.  Such a bat would give a whole new meaning to one of his “Chopper to Chipper” calls.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.