We talked “should” a couple of hours ago. Now here’s the “will”: Buster Olney tweets that New York is not looking for a starting pitcher in the wake of Andy Pettitte’s injury. Rather, they are going to concentrate on improving the bench and improving the bullpen, presumably content to let the rotation play out the way it’s playing out.
This seems like a smart play to me. There’s still 12 days to reassess, but the Yankees are likely pretty confident in Sergio Mitre. He was going to be the fallback if both Joba and Phil came up snake eyes this spring, and like I said earlier today, they did win a World Series with the guy spending a quarter of the season in the rotation. No need to panic now.
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.