Kurt Suzuki, who has been on the disabled list since April 24 with a strained rib cage, is expected to return to the A’s starting lineup on Wednesday, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Suzuki is a major part of the A’s offense and should provide a nice emotional boost for the 16-15 club upon his return. Before rejoining his Oakland teammates, Kurt will likely head to Single-A Stockton or another minor league affiliate to work on his timing at the plate and reacquaint himself with crouching for nine full innings. That should happen on Monday and Tuesday.
The 26-year-old catcher is a .271/.330/.403 hitter through his first three major league seasons. He had an 852 OPS, four home runs and 11 RBI in 59 at-bats this year before the injury.
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.