Spring Training Spinners — ABE ALVAREZ

As New England wrestles with its largest storm of the season, Spring Training lies just around the corner. We thought we’d warm up your snow day with an eye toward Boston’s Spring Training roster in Florida. We’ll be profiling a new former Spinner each day, updating the blog every business day with a new player profile, starting with the pitchers. Alphabetically, we begin today with Abe Alvarez.

Abe Alvarez – 2003 Spinner’s stats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 19/2 K/BB in 19.0 IP

The California native started his professional career with a bang by putting up zeros across the board with the Spinners in 2003. He became the fastest Spinner to the Majors when he jumped up from Double-A Portland to start the first game of a July 22 double-header during Boston’s 2004 title run. Since then, he made two big league appearances in 2005 and a third in 2006.

In Pawtucket last year, he started off strong with a 2.78 ERA over the first two months of the season before losing his effectiveness in June and eventually succumbing to a season-ending injury in August. He finished with a 5.64 ERA, regressing slightly from his Triple-A statistics in 2005 with fewer strikeouts and more walks per inning pitched, and a higher ERA.

But Abe is still young — he’ll be only 24 this year — after being the third-youngest player on the PawSox season-ending roster. It’s likely he’ll begin his third straight season in Pawtucket, but a healed broken ankle and another strong start in 2007 would do wonders in his quest to return to Boston.

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