Henderson Alvarez on track to join A’s rotation in May

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A’s right-hander Henderson Alvarez took a big step Tuesday in his recovery from July shoulder surgery, throwing a 25-pitch bullpen session without experiencing any issues.

A’s manager Bob Melvin told Jane Lee of MLB.com that “it’s all fastballs right now, but we like what we’re seeing” from Alvarez, who spent 2013-2015 with the Marlins and was an All-Star in 2014.

Lee writes that the current plan for Alvarez’s recovery is to be pitching in minor-league games by April and, if things go well there, to come off the disabled list and join the A’s rotation some time in May.

Alvarez was non-tendered by the Marlins and his one-year deal with the A’s makes it clear that they expect him to have a significant impact this season, because it’s worth $4.25 million in upfront money and the contract doesn’t include a team option for 2017. They’re betting on Alvarez this year.