Bryce Harper will be back in the bigs on Monday.
According to James Wagner of the Washington Post, the 20-year-old outfielder played in his final minor league rehab game on Saturday evening at Double-A Bowie. He finished 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts but was 4-for-11 with a homer, a triple, a double and three RBI over four total rehab games.
“The knee has felt good,” Harper told the Post after Saturday’s game. “Swelling a little but not anything we should be scared about or anything like that.”
Harper has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 27 because of bursitis in his left knee. He was batting .287/.386/.587 with 12 home runs, one triple, seven doubles and 23 RBI in 178 plate appearances before going down.
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.