by Marketing ROC

Milwaukee Milkmen sign former MLB All-Star Henderson Alvarez

The Milwaukee Milkmen have so far been the top pitching team in the American Association in 2020, leading the six-team circuit with a collective 3.93 ERA through the first two weeks of the season. The staff received another notable boost today, however, with the club announcing the signing of right-handed pitcher Henderson Alvarez.

Alvarez, who turned 30 in April, spent parts of six seasons at the MLB level while pitching for the Blue Jays, Marlins, and Phillies. Alvarez began his professional career in 2006 when he signed with Toronto as an international free agent from Venezuela. Alvarez was in the big leagues with the Blue Jays five years later at the age of 21, making his debut in a start against the Oakland Athletics on August 10th, 2011. He was traded to Miami in November of 2012.

For his career, Alvarez has made 95 appearances, all starts, tossing 577.2 innings with a 3.82 ERA for a 104 ERA+. According to Baseball-Reference, Alvarez has generated 8.5 wins above replacement for his career. His best season came in 2014 with the Miami Marlins, when he made 30 starts and logged 187.0 frames with a 2.65 ERA (140 ERA+). He was an All-Star that season, finished 12th in Cy Young award voting, and led the league with three complete-game shutouts. Alvarez also has a no-hitter to his credit, thrown for the Marlins against the Detroit Tigers on the final day of the 2013 season.

Alvarez underwent shoulder surgery in 2016 and then signed with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League during the 2017 season. He made seven starts for the Ducks and authored a 3.09 ERA before landing with the Philadelphia Phillies, making it back to the big league level for three starts that September and posting a 4.30 ERA. To date, that was Alvarez's last season in the majors.

Alvarez pitched for Quintana Roo in the Mexican League in 2018, making 20 appearances (19 starts) with a 3.58 ERA across 120.2 innings pitched. He signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals for 2019 and pitched 53.0 innings as a swingman for their Triple-A affiliate before his release on July 1st. He returned to Quintana Roo to make six starts at the end of the season, working to a 3.12 ERA in 34.2 innings with two complete games.

Known for his pinpoint control, Alvarez owns marks of 4.7 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 at the big league level along with a 54.8% groundball rate. His pitch mix includes a four-seam fastball, sinker, changeup, slider, and curveball. This will be his first season pitching in the American Association. Alvarez becomes the fourth MLB veteran on the Milkmen roster, joining David Holmberg, AJ Schugel, and David Washington.