Alvarez Auditions For Jays

TORONTO — Henderson Alvarez continued to impress in his first three major league starts as the Blue Jays began auditioning prospects in August.

The 21-year-old righthander from Venezuela was 0-1, 4.32, and showed poise, a good fastball and changeup and a developing slider.

When he was promoted on Aug. 9, Alvarez was 8-4, 2.86 at Double-A New Hampshire. He had 66 strikeouts and 17 walks in 88 innings.

He made his major league debut on Aug. 10 against the Athletics and did not figure in the decision after allowing eight hits, one walk and three runs while striking out four in six innings.

His second start was at Seattle Aug. 15, and he allowed six hits and four runs in five innings in another no-decision. He allowed one walk and struck out four.
His fastball gets into the upper 90s, but what made the Blue Jays feel that he was ready for his major league test is the development on his slider, which gives him a third pitch to go with his fastball and changeup.

"He's really blossomed and he's been nothing but stellar," New Hampshire pitching coach Pete Walker said before Alvarez was promoted. "He's been pounding the strike zone in the mid- to high-90s consistently with his fastball.

"I think the strikeouts will come. His mound presence is better, his composure is better. His game plan is better and I think he's starting to figure it out a little bit and I think that takes time."


• Righthander Joel Carreno was called up to the big leagues from New Hampshire on Aug. 19 and made his debut as a reliever against the Royals on Aug. 23. He was 7-9, 3.41, in 135 innings with the Fisher Cats and had shown an effective slider.

• Outfielder Darin Mastroianni was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Aug. 24. He split time this season between New Hampshire and Las Vegas and started in center field against the Royals.