Alvarez (0-1) allowed four runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four batters through five innings while taking the loss to Oakland on Sunday. This was the first start of the season for Alvarez, so it wasn't surprising to see the 27-year-old righty post a mediocre showing. Alvarez entered Sunday with a 4.7 K/9 through 563 innings, so his fantasy value is significantly capped by his lack of strikeout upside. He's probably best viewed as a risky option for his projected upcoming starts against the Braves at SunTrust Park and the Mets at Citizens Bank Park.
Manager Pete Mackanin said Alvarez will start Sunday against Oakland, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia reports. The Phillies are transitioning to a six-man rotation for the remainder of the season in order to get a look at Alvarez and to cut down on the innings of their other starters. Alvarez made his last appearance in the majors in 2015 with the Marlins. His fastball has been clocked as high as 98 mph this season, so the Phillies will give him some starts to see if he can be an option to compete for a rotation spot next spring.
Alvarez agreed to a minor-league contract with the Phillies on Tuesday, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports. Alvarez hasn't pitched in the majors since 2015 -- when he was the Marlins' Opening Day starter -- thanks to a myriad of shoulder issues. The 27-year-old has compiled a 3.09 ERA in 32 innings (seven starts) with the independent Long Island Ducks this season, but his 13:14 K:BB leaves something to be desired. On a more positive note, Alvarez's fastball has been clocked at up to 98 miles per hour during his time with the Ducks, according to Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com, which bodes well for the former All-Star's chances of eventually earning his way back to the big leagues. Alvarez will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to begin his tenure with the Phillies.
Alvarez (shoulder) says he will throw a bullpen session in March for interested teams, Manolo Hernandez of Beisbol Porgotas reports. Alvarez has dealt with a flurry of injuries over the last two seasons, including a shoulder surgery that ended his 2016 campaign. The right-hander was an All-Star in 2014 for Miami, when he compiled a 2.65 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 30 starts. Injuries have gotten the best of him since that point, but Alvarez says he is throwing at 120 feet and several teams have asked for updates recently. Look for the 26-year-old to land a minor league contract somewhere down the line.
Alvarez underwent successful shoulder surgery Tuesday (his second such surgery) and is without a timetable to return, the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reports. As with any arm surgery, the second time around is a lot harder to return from, so Alvarez will face an uphill battle. His first surgery was 14 months ago, and both procedures were done by Dr. James Andrews. This surgery entailed a bicep tenodesis procedure as well as an excision of a boney exotosis in his right shoulder. It would not be surprising if he missed most or all of the 2017 season.
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