Another classic spring cliche is the pitcher who is “working on some things.” Usually that’s just a way of explaining away a bad early March outing — “I wasn’t really pitching, I was just working on some things!” — but in the case of Roy Halladay, it sounds like he may actually be working on things. Jim Salisbury:
“There are a couple of things I want to try,” he said. “For any pitcher, you’re always trying to improve on what you already do. For me that’s always the case.”
Halladay wasn’t ready to reveal the new things he is working on this spring.
“I’m going to keep them in my pocket until I decide whether or not they work,” he said with a smile.
Let’s see, he already has four pitches that he can throw wherever he wants at any time in the count, so that doesn’t leave much in the way of new things to work on, does it?
Wait! I got it! He’s going to learn how to paste pathetic palookas with a powerful, paralyzing, perfect, pachydermous, percussion pitch! Italian style!
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Phillies signed pitcher Henderson Alvarez to a minor league deal. If he is added to the major league roster, he’ll earn $750,000 prorated.
Alvarez is still only 27 years old but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 due to shoulder issues. He signed with the Long Island Ducks last month, making seven starts and posting a 3.94 ERA with a 13/14 K/BB ratio in 32 innings.
The Phillies learned that Vince Velasquez will undergo season-ending surgery and also placed Zach Eflin on the 10-day disabled list, so the club is just looking for pitching depth to help take them through the end of the season. Any innings that Alvarez is able to handle will be considered a bonus.
Mets third baseman David Wright will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with High-A St. Lucie. He’ll be the DH.
Wright has been sidelined since May of 2016, first with a cervical disc herniation and, more recently, a shoulder impingement. He has appeared in just 75 games since his last full season in 2014. Wright is under contract through 2020 and is owed $47 million after this year. For now insurance is picking up a large portion of that.
It’s possible he’ll make a return to the Mets before the season out as the competitive portion of their year is basically over and giving him a chance to see big league pitching before he begins what one hopes is a normal offseason might be a good confidence boost. What meaningful role he ever plays in the big leagues again, however, is decidedly up in the air.