What to Do With Jose Alvarado?
The Phillies suffered yet another one of the losses that seem to be a trademark of the 2022 Phillies. These are the types of losses that cause fans to take a sport they love and make it unenjoyable. The Wednesday night loss was driven by the play of Jose Alvarado.
Alvarado has been maddingly inconsistent. His last five outings include a poor outing, a strong one, poor one, strong one, and again a poor one. It's almost as if whenever Joe Girardi motions to the bullpen to call upon Alvarado, he does not know which one he is going to get.
Girardi will take a lot of heat for his bullpen decisions. It's long been Girardi's philosophy not to pitch relievers three days in a row until deep into the season for the stretch run. That hard philosophy could have cost the Phillies some games.
The Phillies had to use Nick Nelson to protect a one-run lead in Atlanta on Tuesday night, following that philosophy. Having gone to closer Corey Knebel the night before to protect a five-run lead, he was then unavailable the next day, as was former closer Jeurys Familia.
So by the time Wednesday's game came about, the "B" bullpen ended up pitching anyway. Alvarado was unable to keep an inherited run on base. He then allowed one of his own, his ERA spiking to 8.03 before settling at 7.62 after getting a couple outs.
Second-guessing Girardi is easy afterwards. But at the end of the day, the roster he has been given includes Alvarado and the likes of James Norwood. They're going to have to pitch at some point.
The Phillies reportedly will bring Bailey Falter in for a start to assist with the workload of starters in this current stretch with no off days for 16 days. The Phillies have kept Falter and Cristopher Sanchez at Triple-A to be stretched out to start. One may argue that the duo of lefties would be better off in their bullpen right now as opposed to saving them for a rainy day.
Alvarado has no minor league options remaining. Therefore the Phillies would risk losing Alvarado to another team. They could be getting close to having to make that choice. Whoever is on the roster has to pitch.
Girardi has no idea which Jose Alvarado he is getting from day to day, so it may be time to bid him farewell.