Yasmani Grandal likely to begin minor league rehab assignment this week


Yasmani Grandal’s first extended chance at playing time in the big leagues hit a bit of a snag when he suffered a strained right oblique two weeks ago, but he’s inching closer to beginning a minor league rehab assignment.

According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, Grandal took batting practice from both sides of the plate prior to tonight’s game against the Braves. He’s scheduled to take batting practice again tomorrow and throw to the bases. If all goes well, he’ll likely go out on a rehab stint with High-A Lake Elsinore.

Grandal, who was acquired from the Reds in the Mat Latos deal, is hitting .312/.349/.597 with five home runs, 15 RBI and a .947 OPS over his first 83 plate appearances in the majors. Padres manager Bud Black hopes to have the 23-year-old back for a series against the Giants this week, but John Baker and Nick Hundley will share playing time behind the plate for now.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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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.