Phillies GM Sam Fuld bullish on upside of Jose Alvarado
By Matt Rappa
The Phillies have high hopes for Jose Alvarado to bounce back in 2021.
So far, in the new era of president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and general manager Sam Fuld, the Philadelphia Phillies have made two trades.
The latter of the pair of moves was announced on Saturday, with the Phillies acquiring right-handed reliever Sam Coonrod from the San Francisco Giants for 2020 fourth-round draft pick Carson Ragsdale. The first was announced in later September — a three-way deal in which the Phillies sent LHP Garrett Cleavinger to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and received fellow southpaw reliever Jose Alvarado from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Alvarado has pitched four seasons in the majors. During his first two in 2017-18, he combined for a 2.79 ERA in 105 appearances. Across 2019-20, however, he recorded a 5.08 ERA in 44 outings.
The Phillies are not so much focused on his recent disappointing stats, but rather his potential to be an effective reliever given his pitching repertoire. In a recent Pine Tar for Breakfast Podcast with former Phillies player and current broadcaster Kevin Frandsen, Fuld described Alvarado’s upside as “real.”
“I mean, 2018 was a pretty special year,” he said. “If you’re glued to Pitching Ninja on Twitter, it doesn’t take long to see how filthy his stuff is — not just velocity, but movement. His sinker is just goofy. It runs across the span of home plate … it’s really special. It really does [act like a right-handed cutter]. If you throw that up there at 98-99, you got a good starting point.”
Fuld added that Alvarado has a breaking ball that, if the Phillies can refine it a little bit more, it could be a “real weapon.”
“It’s just a special arm and a special sort of canvas to work with,” Fuld said. “He’s already proven that he can do it at a really high level.”
“He had a little adversity in the last couple of years, but we feel like we got a pretty good weapon on board and we’re excited to see him.”