As first reported by MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, Diamondbacks catcher Henry Blanco was diagnosed Tuesday with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and is scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday to have it corrected.
He’s almost certainly done for the rest of the year.
Blanco was injured this past Sunday at Citizens Bank Park when Phillies outfielder John Mayberry slid hard into his mitt on a play at home plate. An MRI taken Monday — with results made available Tuesday — revealed the torn thumb ligament.
The 40-year-old catcher was hitting .188 with a .505 OPS in 21 games as Miguel Montero’s primary backup.
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.