Ian Stewart has rejoined the Rockies following a two-month demotion to Triple-A, although his current stay may be a brief one.
He’s in the starting lineup tonight, playing third base and batting seventh, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post speculates that Stewart will likely be headed back to the minors if Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki return quickly from their injuries.
Stewart blasted 14 homers and posted a .937 OPS in 44 games at Triple-A, but he did it in an extremely hitter-friendly ballpark and that’s about what you’d expect from a 27-year-old veteran of more than 1,300 big-league plate appearances.
With Gonzalez out and Stewart in the lineup at third base the Rockies have gotten creative, shifting Charlie Blackmon from left field to center field and usual third baseman Ty Wigginton to left field, where he hasn’t played since May 20.
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.