Two weeks of the season down, two weeks of Matt Kemp taking player of the week honors in the NL. He also won the last player of the week award last season, so it’s three straight for him. The kid is pretty good, no?
Kemp won the award again for a week in which he went 12-for-22, hit four home runs and had 26 total bases, helping lead the Dodgers to the best record in baseball. So far this season Kemp is hitting .487/.523/1.026 with six homers, which is pretty nuts, even for a small as heck sample size.
In the AL, the award went to Josh Willingham of the Minnesota Twins. In six games last week, Willingham batted .455 (10-for-22) with a double, three home runs, four RBI, three walks and six runs. On the season he’s hitting .419/.514/.871, leading the league in the latter two categories.
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.