Stephen Drew making progress, but no return timetable yet

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Stephen Drew’s surgically repaired ankle felt good enough over the weekend that he was able to go through what Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic described as “a hard workout at Chase Field that included extensive time on the basepaths.”

Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson revealed that Drew felt “a little sore” after the weekend workout, but in general seemed pretty optimistic about the shortstop’s status:

He actually bounced back real well so I’m encouraged at the pace and the rate he’s bouncing back. He looks much stronger and he seems to bounce back much quicker.

There’s still no timetable yet for Drew’s return and he hasn’t played since breaking his ankle last July, but at least he’s finally making some significant progress.

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.