Chris Denorfia has yet to play a spring training game because of a lower back injury and manager Bud Black told Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune that the Padres are worried he won’t have enough to time be ready for Opening Day.
There is a little concern. He’s not progressing to the point where we know when he’s going to get into a game. It takes time to get game ready.
Denorfia is slated to be San Diego’s fourth outfielder, but figures to get a sizable amount of playing time because he can back up all three spots behind starters Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, and Will Venable. If he starts the season on the disabled list 36-year-old Mark Kotsay could be pushed into more outfield action.
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.