It took 294 at-bats, but Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has at long last hit a home run. His last, prior to tonight, occurred on August 30 last season against the Orioles.
The Yankees were trailing the Blue Jays 4-3 in the bottom of the third, but were threatening, putting runners on first and second with one out against Mark Buehrle. Ichiro waited on a 1-1 curveball and slugged it just over the fence in right field for a three-run blast, putting the Yankees up 6-4.
The power has otherwise been few and far between for Ichiro this season, as he entered the night with a meager .278/.328/.314 slash line with 11 RBI and six stolen bases in 243 plate appearances.
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.