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From BR Bullpen
Henderson Javier Alvarez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 190 lb.
 Biographical Information
Henderson Alvarez made his major league debut when he was 21 years old.
Alvarez was signed by scout Rafael Moncada for the Toronto Blue Jays at age 16. He debuted as a pro with the 2007 DSL Blue Jays 1, going 1-2 with a 5.61 ERA and a .324 opponent average. In 2008, the right-hander had a 1-4, 5.63 record for the GCL Blue Jays while surrendering a .310 average. His 41 runs allowed led the Gulf Coast League.
The Venezuelan hurler made big strides in 2009 with the Lansing Lugnuts, where he was 9-6 with a 3.47 ERA. He walked only 19 and gave up just a single homer in 124 1/3 innings while cutting his opponent batting average to .251. He had the lowest walk rate in the Midwest League and finished 7th in ERA.
Alvarez began 2010 5-3 with a 3.19 ERA for the Dunedin Blue Jays and was picked for the 2010 Futures Game. He did not fare well in that contest. Entering in the bottom of the 5th with a 2-1 deficit, he relieved Julio Teheran with the game still within reach. He began by allowing a Dee Gordon single, then got Mike Moustakas to ground into a double play. Alex Liddi made an error to put Mike Trout aboard, then Alvarez served up a single to Eric Hosmer. Hank Conger then took him deep for a 3-run blast. Alvarez recovered to get PH Ben Revere on a grounder. He would be relieved the next frame by Stolmy Pimentel. For the summer, he finished 8-7 with a 4.33 ERA. Baseball America rated him as having the best changeup in the Florida State League and as the loop's #12 prospect, between Adieny Hechavarria and Adam Warren.
In 2011, Alvarez started the year with the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats, where he went 8-4, 2.86 in 88 innings to earn a promotion to AAA Las Vegas in early August, impressing enough in his first start at the higher level to earn a call-up to Toronto the following week. He made his debut on August 10th, facing the Oakland Athletics at the Rogers Centre. At 21, he was the third youngest starting pitcher in Blue Jays history, after 20-year-olds Jeff Byrd and Phil Huffman back in the 1970s. He impressed with a fastball in the mid-90s, but gave up three runs in the 4th inning, including a solo home by David DeJesus. He left with two outs in the 6th, one batter too early to benefit from a 5-run outburst by his Blue Jay teammates, highlighted by Brett Lawrie's first career grand slam. Reliever Casey Janssen got credit for the 8-4 win. After two losses, Alvarez earned his first major league win on August 31st against the Baltimore Orioles; he gave up no runs in 8 innings as the Jays pounded the Orioles for a 13-0 win. He finished the year with a record of 1-3, 3.53, in 10 starts with an outstanding K/W ratio of 40/8.
In 2012, Alvarez made the Blue Jays' starting rotation out of spring training. On May 4th, he threw his first career shutout, defeating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 4-0 on 5 hits. He was the only member of the team's opening day rotation not to struggle with injuries or inconsistency during the year, logging in 31 starts with a record of 9-14, 4.85. While the record and ERA were only so-so, the Jays were pleased with his ability not to miss a turn and his 187 1/3 innings pitched. However, with only 79 strikeouts - a mere 3.8 per 9 innings - there was serious doubt about his ability to remain a major league starter over the longer term, even if he still had some room to improve at only 22. In the end the Jays deemed him expendable, as they included him in a package of mainly young players they sent to the Miami Marlins on November 13th in return for a haul of higher-priced veterans. Accompanying Alvarez to Miami were IFs Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, C Jeff Mathis as well as three minor league prospects, while the Jays received SS Jose Reyes, Ps Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, C John Buck and IF/OF Emilio Bonifacio in the blockbuster deal.
Alvarez did well during his first spring training with the Marlins in 2013 and had won the spot as the team's third starter when he was placed on the disabled list with shoulder problems on the eve of opening day.
- 2010 Baseball Almanac
- 2010 Blue Jays Media Guide