In last night’s Tigers-Yankees game we saw both managers turn to top-of-the-rotation starters in relief roles and Zack Greinke may join the fun tonight.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com that “Zack would be available and not just if [Yovani Gallardo] isn’t pitching well.”
Greinke threw just 86 pitches in his Game 2 start Sunday, so the fact that he’d be pitching on full rest and a modest recent workload means he might even be available for multiple innings.
Greinke hasn’t made a relief appearance since 2007, but he was dominant out of the Royals’ bullpen that season with a 3.54 ERA and 55/15 K/BB ratio in 53 innings spread over 38 appearances.
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.