Jair Jurrjens leaves game early with discomfort in his side


You know what I can’t wait for? I can’t wait for teams that ridiculously put promising young starting pitchers in the bullpen to start complaining about how they don’t have enough starting pitching.  That’s what I can’t wait for.

In the meantime, the non-deluded teams out there realize that there isn’t anything as valuable as a solid starter. And this is brought home when they lose one, like the Braves might:

Right-hander Jair Jurrjens left his start against the Blue Jays after just one inning on Thursday afternoon because of discomfort in his right side. Jurrjens said the soreness originated near his rib cage, but was not related to his oblique muscle. He believed it was a cramp and that he could have continued pitching, but he left the game for precautionary reasons.

It doesn’t sound serious. And if it does — hey! — the Braves just sent down a guy who could do a pretty decent job of filling in if Jurrjens has to miss some time.  He’s available as a starter, you see, because no one overthought things and convinced someone that he should be in the bullpen. Because the Braves understand that you can string together a bullpen if you have to, but that a young starting pitcher is a valuable asset.

And if you think I’m a bit animated about this, well, you’re right.  Because I just wrote my damn Texas Rangers preview in which I pegged everything to Neftali Feliz starting the year in the rotation, and now the Rangers have gone and made that inoperative.  Craigy isn’t big on timing. Craigy isn’t big on editing. Craigy is big on holding petty grudges, though, so yeah, I’m gonna stew for a while.

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.