Carlos Gonzalez returns to Rockies' starting lineup

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As noted by Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is back in the Rockies’ starting lineup Sunday for the first time since banging his right knee against the outfield wall on Wednesday night. 

CarGo was used as a pinch-hitter in last night’s 3-1 loss to the Diamondbacks but was also seen limping in the clubhouse after the game.  He’s going to play through the discomfort because the Rockies are seven games back in the hunt for the National League Wild Card and must make a charge in the standings now.

The 24-year-old outfielder is batting .318/.350/.562 this season with 25 homers, 79 RBI and 19 stolen bases.  He’s an MVP candidate in the National League.

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.