The Rangers announced this afternoon that right-hander R.J. Alvarez has been assigned outright to the minor leagues. Texas just claimed Alvarez off waivers from the Cubs over the weekend, though it now looks as though Alvarez was claimed with the intent of the Rangers trying to sneak him through outright waivers themselves. Texas succeeded and will therefore be able to retain Alvarez for the time being without dedicating a 40-man roster spot to him.
The 25-year-old Alvarez was once a well-regarded prospect within the Angels’ farm system and has been included in a pair of high-profile trades — going from the Halos to the Padres in the Huston Street deal and going from San Diego to Oakland in the Derek Norris swap. The Cubs picked him up off waivers earlier this season, but he struggled considerably with Chicago’s Double-A affiliate in Tennessee.
In 27 innings split between Triple-A, Double-A and Class-A Advanced this season, Alvarez has a 7.00 ERA, and while the 35 strikeouts he’s racked up in that time are impressive, they also come with a dozen walks, a pair of hit batters and six wild pitches. Those troubles are reflective of the control issues that have plagued Alvarez throughout his minor league career, as he’s averaged 5.8 walks per nine innings pitched since being selected in the third round of the 2012 draft (by the Angels). Alvarez’s brief time in the Majors hasn’t gone any better, as he’s posted a 7.39 ERA in 28 big league innings, again showing a penchant for missing bats (32 strikeouts) but a susceptibility to bases on balls (18 walks).