Royals' Anderson hits for cycle in four innings

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Former White Sox first-round pick Brian Anderson, currently auditioning for a spot on the Kansas City bench, hit for the cycle and drove in seven runs in the first four innings Friday as the Royals took a 17-0 lead over the Diamondbacks.
Anderson, who would have had a shot at a starting job before Rick Ankiel was signed, appeared to be losing a competition with Mitch Maier for one spot on the Kansas City bench, but he may have reversed his fortunes in the span of an hour and a half.
The 28-year-old doubled and tripled off Arizona starter Billy Buckner, singled off closer Chad Qualls and then hit a two-run homer in the fourth off Clay Zavada.
The homer was his first of the spring. He entered the day with a .273 average and three doubles in 22 at-bats.
Anderson wasn’t the only former White Sox first-round pick having a big game for Kansas City, either. Josh Fields, another player battling for a bench spot, was 3-for-3 with a double and five RBI before being pulled for a pinch-runner.

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.