Aaron Rowand sustained two small fractures in his cheekbone and a mild concussion after being hit in the helmet by Vicente Padilla during the fifth inning of Friday’s game against the Dodgers.
Padilla’s history as a headhunter is well-documented, of course, but he denied that he threw at Rowand intentionally, via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
“I threw inside and the pitch ran in on him. He
was right on the plate…”
“With that kind of lead, there was no reason for
me to start a conflict.“
For what it’s worth, Giants manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t believe Padilla was in a situation where he would hit a batter intentionally, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
“In that situation, he’s in a jam,” Bochy said. “You’re always going to
wonder what the intent was. Certainly in that situation, that’s not when
a pitcher is going to hit somebody.”
Bochy said that he was unsure whether Rowand would require a stint on the disabled list, though it’s pretty hard to believe he’ll be able avoid it.
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.