Braves right-hander David Hale allowed a single to Brandon Phillips and an RBI double to Ryan Ludwick in the top of the first inning Saturday evening at Turner Field, but the Reds were held hitless the rest of the way in Atlanta’s eventual 4-1 victory. Watch a recap of the dominant outing:
Hale is expected to lose his rotation spot when Mike Minor (shoulder) returns from the disabled list this week, but Minor was lit up for five runs and 10 hits — including four homers — in what was supposed to be his final rehab start Friday at Double-A Mississippi. So maybe Hale and his 2.31 ERA will get one more turn.
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.