Stephen Strasburg struck out six batters in a three-inning rehab start Monday night at Single-A and the Nationals announced that he’ll move up to Triple-A for his next start Saturday.
In addition to being just one step from the majors Strasburg told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he’s looking forward to facing Triple-A hitters because so many Single-A hitters “are just up there hacking” and don’t give him an opportunity to work on his full repertoire.
Strasburg, who’s about 12 months removed from Tommy John elbow surgery, could be back in the Nationals’ rotation as soon as September 2, with Kilgore reporting that the most likely date for his return to the majors is September 6 or 7 because the minor-league season ends on September 5.
Strasburg had one bad rehab outing last week, but has consistently been clocked in the mid-90s with his fastball and has a remarkable 18 strikeouts in 9.1 innings.
The Orioles have re-signed infielder Pedro Alvarez to a minor league deal, per a report from Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. The deal guarantees Alvarez $1 million if he makes the 40-man roster and another $2 million in potential performance bonuses. The team has yet to confirm the deal.
This will be Alvarez’s third year with the Orioles. After posting decent numbers in 2016, the 31-year-old was relegated to the minors for the majority of the 2017 season and saw only 14 games at the big league level. He finished the year with an underwhelming .239/.294/.442 batting line and 26 home runs through 595 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk.
Alvarez is expected to split his time between first base and DH this spring, and MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli notes that he’s unlikely to experiment with another outfield role. While he isn’t too far removed from his last productive season in the majors, the veteran infielder will function purely as insurance for first baseman Chris Davis and designated hitter Mark Trumbo and will likely begin the season in the minors.