Henderson Alvarez avoids DL, Jamie Moyer to make two Triple-A starts

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And now your hourly Blue Jays injury update:

The team announced this afternoon that tests revealed only mild inflammation in the elbow of Henderson Alvarez, and that he is scheduled to make his next start this weekend.

It was also revealed that the Jays’ deal with Jamie Moyer calls for him to make two starts at Triple-A Las Vegas before his status is reevaluated. He’ll likely be promoted to the majors or released afterwards.

It’s disturbing that the Jays haven’t chosen to be more careful with Alvarez. He’s just 22, and in the wake of all of their arm injuries, the last thing they need is to see him join Kyle Drabek and maybe Drew Hutchinson in being lost for the season.

As for Moyer in Triple-A, well, what could their possibly be to see? Everyone already knows exactly what he brings to the table, and he just made three Triple-A starts for the Orioles in which he amassed a 1.69 ERA and a 16/0 K/BB ratio in 16 innings. Whether he gave up two runs or 20 runs in his Triple-A starts isn’t going to change a thing about him.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.