Henderson Alvarez

Henderson Alvarez avoids DL, Jamie Moyer to make two Triple-A starts

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And now your hourly Blue Jays injury update:

The team announced this afternoon that tests revealed only mild inflammation in the elbow of Henderson Alvarez, and that he is scheduled to make his next start this weekend.

It was also revealed that the Jays’ deal with Jamie Moyer calls for him to make two starts at Triple-A Las Vegas before his status is reevaluated. He’ll likely be promoted to the majors or released afterwards.

It’s disturbing that the Jays haven’t chosen to be more careful with Alvarez. He’s just 22, and in the wake of all of their arm injuries, the last thing they need is to see him join Kyle Drabek and maybe Drew Hutchinson in being lost for the season.

As for Moyer in Triple-A, well, what could their possibly be to see? Everyone already knows exactly what he brings to the table, and he just made three Triple-A starts for the Orioles in which he amassed a 1.69 ERA and a 16/0 K/BB ratio in 16 innings. Whether he gave up two runs or 20 runs in his Triple-A starts isn’t going to change a thing about him.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.