Kevin Youkilis’ minor-league rehab assignment will start tomorrow at Triple-A, according to Joseph McDonald of ESPN Boston.
Youkilis, who’s been out since April 27 with a back injury and struggled before being shut down, is scheduled to be in Pawtucket’s lineup at designated hitter and get three at-bats.
Barring a setback he’ll then play defense Thursday, presumably at third base, and potentially be cleared to come off the disabled list as soon as Friday. Of course, with fill-in Will Middlebrooks seemingly playing far too well for the Red Sox to send him back to Triple-A right now it’s unclear where Youkilis fits in the team’s immediate plans anyway.
Middlebrooks has hit .304 with four homers and a 1.021 OPS in 11 games since debuting on May 2, whereas Youkilis has hit just .205 with 52 strikeouts in 55 games since last season’s All-Star break.
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.