Well, nobody could have predicted this one.
Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that Rafael Soriano will undergo a precautionary MRI after he showed up to the ballpark today with what Yankees manager Joe Girardi called a “tender” elbow.
Soriano, who signed a three-year, $35 million contract with the Yankees over the winter, has a 5.79 ERA and 9/9 K/BB ratio over his first 14 innings of work this season. The 31-year-old right-hander previously underwent Tommy John surgery in August of 2004 and had exploratory surgery on the elbow in August of 2008.
Soriano tells Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com that he’s fine, but it will be interesting to hear Brian Cashman’s comments if the MRI reveals something serious.
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.