Brace yourselves: kittens playing in an All-Star Game is coming

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If they don’t get Andres Galarraga to throw out the first pitch they had best not even bother. But apart from that, I am behind this 100%:

After winning six million viewers with its Super Bowl Sunday “Kitten Bowl,” Hallmark told advertisers Thursday it is creating a similar event, “Kitten Paw Star Game,” to air opposite baseball’s All-Star game in July 2015.

The MLB-focused event will feature kittens in baseball outfits batting balls — plus celebrities and baseball stars to cheer the kitties on.

I just pray to God that the ratings don’t eclipse the actual All-Star Game or else I’m going to have to go into the “no, baseball isn’t dying” business full time.

I am curious about the 2015 start date for this, though. What’s the holdup? Selecting a host city? Figuring out the fan balloting to select the players? Vast logistical issues which make throwing a bunch of cats into a room with high walls problematic? Inquiring minds want to know.

Phillies sign Henderson Alvarez to a minor league deal

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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.

David Wright is going to play in a real game tonight

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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.