Chris Archer’s recent stretch of dominance continued this afternoon, as he tossed a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. It was his second shutout in his past three starts.
This qualified as a “Maddux” for Archer, as he needed just 97 pitches to finish it off. Outdueling Ivan Nova, the 24-year-old right-hander struck out six and didn’t walk a batter. Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune notes that Archer is the first rookie pitcher to throw a shutout against the Yankees in New York since the Orioles’ Arthur Rhodes did it on July 29, 1992.
Archer will finish July at 4-0 with a 0.73 ERA and 22/7 K/BB ratio in 38 innings over five starts. Meanwhile, the first-place Rays have a 2.27 ERA this month. It’s no wonder why they are the hottest team in baseball.
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.