AL Notes: Alvarez, Torres, Flexen

Star GM Dana Brown discussed the star slugger Jordan AlvarezHis health during an ESPN one-game appearance that aired today, telling ESPN broadcasters that “He should definitely be back for Opening Day. His hands hurt a little. He had some of that last year, but we feel pretty confident he’ll be in contention somewhere around the midway point (Spring Training). But he’s already feeling much better.”

The news that Alvarez should be ready for Opening Day is certainly a relief for Astros fans, as the slugger is among the most important players in the Astros’ star-studded lineup to win a World Series championship in 2022. Alvarez hit an amazing .306 /.406/.613 with 37 home runs in just 135 games last season. As measured by wRC+, Alvarez was 85% better than the league average player in 2022, a fantastic percentage surpassed only by the reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge last year.

As Brown reported, Alvarez struggled with hand issues throughout the 2022 season, going on the injured list in July and missing time with the issue occasionally throughout the season. Those issues clearly didn’t hinder his production in 2022, so the fact that Alvarez isn’t expected to miss time to open the regular season is an encouraging development as he looks to continue a season that has him among the best hitters overall. The Athletics and the Astros look to hold off the Mariners, Angels and Rangers in an AL West that should see all four clubs contend for playoff spots this season. That said, the situation will remain one to watch until Alvarez returns to competitive action, as he is currently scheduled to do next month.

More from all over the American League…

  • Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres did a Q&A with The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner today, where the pair discussed a range of topics, including the recent trade rumors surrounding Torres. In the interview, Torres notes that he likes playing in New York and would like to spend the rest of his career with the Yankees, though he noted that hearing about the trade rumors was “really hard,” especially around the trade deadline last season. , and that although his representatives have spoken to the front office about a possible extension, he has not had conversations with GM Brian Cashman or manager Aaron Boone personally about the matter. Torres, who slashed .257/.310/.451 (115 wRC+) last year, is set to hit free agency after the 2024 campaign.
  • Another player who was in the news this offseason was Sailors right handed Chris Flexen. As Flexen told Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times and other reporters, the experience of waiting for a trade was painful for him, too. “It wasn’t the best, but I still wear ‘Mariners’ on my chest. I’m happy to be here.” Flexen was pushed into the final stretch last season after acquiring the ace from Seattle Luis Castillo, and there doesn’t appear to be a clearer path to the rotation going into 2023, although the Mariners are currently looking at him in case of injury. Still, Flexen excelled out of the bullpen in 2022, posting a 1.62 ERA in 16 2/3 innings in relief last year, so a return to the bullpen could see Flexen make a big impact on the club heading into the regular season.

(tags For Translation) Chris Flexen

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