The Cubs claimed RHP R.J. Alvarez off waivers from the Oakland A’s
R.J. Alvarez was optioned to Double-A Tennessee.
With the addition of R.J. Alvarez, the Cubs’ 40-man roster officially stands at 39 players.
R.J. Alvarez, 25, had been on the 60-day disabled list all season while recovering from surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow in Spring Training (late March/early April). He had recently begun a rehab assignment and pitched to a 2.45 ERA (one earned run in 3 2/3 innings) with a 0.54 WHIP in three rehab appearances with High-A Stockton (two outings) and Triple-A Nashville (one outing). Alvarez went 3-3 with five saves and a 4.11 ERA (16 earned runs in 35 innings) and 1.51 WHIP in 31 relief outings for Nashville last year, striking out 41 batters in 35 innings pitched.
The right-hander has spent parts of the last two seasons in the big leagues with San Diego (2014) and Oakland (2015), posting no record, a 7.39 ERA (23 earned runs in 28 innings) and a 1.71 WHIP in 31 career Major League outings.
R.J. Alvarez was originally selected by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the third round of the 2012 Draft out of Florida Atlantic University.
Alvarez can light up a radar gun. Prior to the surgery to remove chips from his elbow, Alvarez sat in the mid-90s with his fastball (95 mph) and touched the upper-90s (98 mph). Alvarez also throws a slider with what has been described as a max-effort delivery.
The Cubs optioned Alvarez to Double-A Tennessee. Alvarez will be on an optional assignment this season. The Cubs used one of Alvarez’s two remaining options. Alvarez has one option year remaining after this season.