There’s too much news to return to our once-every-two-weeks James Mungro Memorial Award sponsored by (sponsor pending) winners of past and present update. (I feel like that needs to be shortened.)
Jose Alvarez made his highly publicized (at least on here) return to the majors, and Chris Bootcheck gamed the system yet again. Let’s start with our current winner.
Alvarez, surprisingly, didn’t throw a no hitter against Boston on Thursday. He had a traditional Five and Dive, going five innings and giving up two runs before he was ruthlessly yanked from the game by Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Alvarez only threw 85 pitches. His changeup induced six whiffs, three more than when he flirted with greatness against the Indians. His fastball was nearly identical to his his first start. He walked just two. He gave up just two runs. In short: his clip was still loaded.
Jim, give the people what they want. Give him the extra inning. There’s no use in saving him for anything.
Alvarez will definitely face the Angels on Wednesday, but his subsequent start would come on July 1, the same day Anibal Sanchez is scheduled to come off the disabled list. If Sanchez is ready, Alvarez is likely done with the Tigers until at least September. Alvarez isn’t a reliever. After discovering the majesty in the Tigers have in their hands, I doubt they’ll want alter his psyche by making him a callup that eats an inning or three late in already decided games.
The only way he’s coming back is if another starter gets hurt or Rick Porcello gets traded.
So, yeah, Leyland screwed you out of about 15 of the most wondrous minutes of your life.
Bootcheck, he cleared waivers on Friday, as expected, and opted out to become a free agent, as expected. What wasn’t expected was the slickest move since Stinky Pete turned on the TV to wake up Big Al and prevent Woody from escaping.
The Champ immediately signed a new contract with the Yankees organization. With an August 15th opt-out date.
Not only does he return to an organization who doesn’t fear calling up a 34-year-old pitcher with a sputtering delivery, but he gets to keep his options open. Hey Orioles, need some bullpen help for the playoff run? The Champ is available.
There is one change, however.
Bootcheck returned to triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this week, appearing in the second half of the team’s Saturday doubleheader. But he did it as a reliever. RHP came in for the sixth and seventh innings, allowing four hits and a run.
What is this sabotage? ‘Let’s mess with his head because he out-maneuvered us on a deal.’ ‘Let’s disrupt his Scranton/Wilkes-Barre feng shui because he got his shot in the big leagues.’ No. Chris Bootcheck will not stand for this. Put him in the starting rotation or he walks right now.
OK, I don’t have that kind of authorization. Bootcheck is fine with the bullpen. He’ll needs an adjustment period, but he’ll return to sucking out the souls of hitters. After all, the Legend of Bootcheck grew during the ninth inning of Toledo Mud Hens games.
But it will be strange.
After everything, he’s right back where he started.