Jose Alvarez found himself as one of the most heavily-used arms out of the Angels' bullpen once again in 2016. The left-hander's first half of the season was a bit shaky, as he held a 4.38 ERA and 1.59 WHIP at the beginning of July. This led to a brief stint in the minors, but upon his return later in the month, the 27-year-old showed vast improvement. The Angels currently don't have many better options in an overall weak bullpen, meaning the job security for Alvarez is pretty strong. However, his relatively modest strikeout rate (8.0 K/9) and horrific home/road splits (1.13 ERA at home vs. 6.39 ERA on the road) mean he likely won't be thrust into a bigger role. He's a consideration in leagues that count holds, but that's about the extent of Alvarez's fantasy appeal.
Alvarez is considered a safe bet to make the Angels' bullpen, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Alvarez is the best left-handed reliever on the Angels' roster, so it is no surprise that the team already considers him a part of the bullpen. The 27-year-old posted a 3.45 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over 57.1 innings last season, so he is not going to help you much with your ratios. The southpaw generated 11 holds however, and he should see his fair share of late-inning opportunities again, making him a cheap target for AL-only leagues that count holds.
Alvarez is an early favorite to win a bullpen job out of spring training, the Orange County Register reports. The 27-year-old southpaw was a bright spot on an otherwise disappointing bullpen for the Angels in 2016. His 3.45 ERA and 8.01 K/9 were right in line with his successful 2015 season. With a shortage of dominant arms, it seems like only an injury would prevent Alvarez from making the Opening Day roster.
Alvarez is back with the major league club, and is on the lineup card for Tuesday's contest with the Rangers, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. This move likely signals Nick Tropeano's move to the disabled list with a sore elbow that he sustained Monday night. On the year, Alvarez has posted a 4.38 ERA with a 1.59 WHIP during 37 innings with the Angels. He was recently sent down to Triple-A Salt Lake in early July, but has returned after allowing two earned runs during five appearances in the minors.
Alvarez was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Alvarez saw his streak of eight appearances without allowing a run come to an end Sunday, when he was tacked for two runs (one earned) on two hits and a walk before departing without recording a walk. With the Angels needing to open up a 25-man roster spot for Monday's starter, Nick Tropeano, Alvarez was deemed the most expendable out of the team's relievers. He should resurface with the Angels at some point after the All-Star break if he pitches well at Triple-A in the interim.
Alvarez suffered the loss in Friday's game against Baltimore, allowing a two-run home run to Chris Davis in the seventh inning. Alvarez has struggled recently, allowing runs in three of his last four relief appearances. However, the left-hander has been a solid option out of the bullpen for the Angels this season, racking up seven holds to go along with a 3.97 ERA. Alvarez leads the Los Angeles bullpen in appearances, a trend likely to continue throughout the season.