Diamondbacks put Kris Benson on disabled list, call up Kevin Mulvey

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In the least shocking news of the week, Arizona has placed Kris Benson on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. When the Diamondbacks added him to the rotation two weeks ago I wrote that choosing the oft-injured, rarely effective, 35-year-old Benson over various minor-league options made little sense.
He was actually better than I expected, putting together back-to-back solid outings, but sure enough he heads back to the DL having posted a 5.14 ERA. Now the Diamondbacks will turn to prospect Kevin Mulvey, which they probably should have done in the first place.
Acquired from the Twins for Jon Rauch in the middle of last season, Mulvey projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter after spending the past two-plus seasons at Triple-A posting a 3.79 ERA and 251/107 K/BB ratio in 323 innings. Mulvey’s stock has dropped considerably since he was a Mets second-round pick and key piece of Minnesota’s haul for Johan Santana, but he’s certainly far more likely than Benson to log 150 innings with a 4.50 ERA at this point. Benson hasn’t done that since 2005, when Mulvey was in college at Villanova.

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.