Domonic Brown to return from thumb injury next week

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Domonic Brown is hoping to rejoin the Phillies’ lineup next week after an MRI exam showed only inflammation in his injured thumb, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Brown has been diagnosed with a sprain after suffering the injury attempting a diving catch earlier this week, but Gelb notes that “much of the inflammation and scar tissue is actually remnants of a similar injury” from last year and “it’s the fourth injury since 2009 to his right hand.”

That’s not exactly good news, of course, but at least Brown avoided something more serious this time around. His chances of cracking the Opening Day roster, however, remain slim, but that has more to do with the Phillies’ continued disinterest in giving him an extended opportunity at age 24 than anything else.

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.