From CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler comes word that Tigers right-hander Doug Fister has been cleared to make his first minor league rehab start Wednesday evening with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens.
Fister has been on the disabled list since the first week of the regular season due to a costochondral (rib cage) strain that he suffered in the middle of his 2012 debut. He’s been playing catch for more than a week and made it through a full bullpen session Saturday without feeling any lingering discomfort.
Fister could rejoin the Tigers’ starting rotation after just one minor league start if everything goes well.
The 28-year-old right-hander has a 0.00 ERA through 3 2/3 innings this year after finishing with a stellar 2.83 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 146/37 K/BB ratio in 216 1/3 frames last season between Detroit and Seattle.
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.