Alvarez, Blue Jays ready for home cooking

Alvarez, Blue Jays ready for home cooking

CLEVELAND -- The Blue Jays will head back to Toronto late Sunday night for the first time this season as the club prepares to open a nine-game homestand.

Right-hander Henderson Alvarez will get the start for the Blue Jays against Boston's Felix Doubront in the home opener on Monday night.

The 21-year-old Alvarez has just 10 big league starts under his belt, but manager John Farrell doesn't expect the young Venezuelan to be intimidated by the sold-out crowd.

"He'll work quick, throw strikes and change speeds," Farrell said of Alvarez, who declined to speak with reporters before his upcoming start. "The one thing that stood out last year when we had first-year guys come to the pitching staff, Alvarez, [Joel] Carreno and Luis Perez, all three handled themselves exceptionally well in the situations they found themselves in.

"I guarantee you everyone in our uniform will be heightened [Monday]. That's the norm with Opening Day, but he's such a good athlete I think he can channel that adrenaline in the right away."

Alvarez began the 2011 season in Class A Dunedin, but by August had advanced through the Minor League system and was on his way to Toronto. The hard-throwing righty recorded six quality starts in 10 outings.