We’ve heard people piling on Marlon Byrd for his positive PED test as if he owed them something and, frankly, it’s pretty unseemly. Contrast this with an excellent column from Doug Glanville today which outlines true disappointment.
In it Glanville explains how veterans mentor young players and how young players grow up and do the same to the next group of kids. Glanville was Byrd’s mentor when the latter came and eventually took over his job with the Phillies, and he describes how that all works and the sort of relationship that is formed if everyone has their head on straight.
Byrd, by almost all accounts, had his head on straight his whole career, which is why Glanville is saddened to hear the news about the PED test. It’s not a judgmental thing like you get from the sanctimonious jerks in the media. It’s the sort of valid and honest disappointment one can only have for someone about whom they care deeply as Glanville clearly does for Byrd. And based on the tone, it’s a disappointment, one suspects, that will one day go away because good people eventually make amends when necessary.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Phillies signed pitcher Henderson Alvarez to a minor league deal. If he is added to the major league roster, he’ll earn $750,000 prorated.
Alvarez is still only 27 years old but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 due to shoulder issues. He signed with the Long Island Ducks last month, making seven starts and posting a 3.94 ERA with a 13/14 K/BB ratio in 32 innings.
The Phillies learned that Vince Velasquez will undergo season-ending surgery and also placed Zach Eflin on the 10-day disabled list, so the club is just looking for pitching depth to help take them through the end of the season. Any innings that Alvarez is able to handle will be considered a bonus.
Mets third baseman David Wright will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with High-A St. Lucie. He’ll be the DH.
Wright has been sidelined since May of 2016, first with a cervical disc herniation and, more recently, a shoulder impingement. He has appeared in just 75 games since his last full season in 2014. Wright is under contract through 2020 and is owed $47 million after this year. For now insurance is picking up a large portion of that.
It’s possible he’ll make a return to the Mets before the season out as the competitive portion of their year is basically over and giving him a chance to see big league pitching before he begins what one hopes is a normal offseason might be a good confidence boost. What meaningful role he ever plays in the big leagues again, however, is decidedly up in the air.