Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an interesting note about Corey Hart, who had a career-year in 2010 while everyone thought he was wearing contact lenses the Brewers recommended when a spring training physical exam revealed near-sightedness.
However, after struggling to adjust to the contacts so much that he was worried about being released Hart says he “threw them away after spring training” and “never wore the contacts after the season started.”
Not following the team’s recommendation after back-to-back disappointing seasons is an easy way to get in the doghouse, but Hart made that a moot point by hitting .283 with a career-high 31 homers and 102 RBIs, boosting his OPS by 112 points. And in August he signed a three-year, $26.5 million contract extension.
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.