Phillies: 6 relievers Joe Girardi is excited about for 2021

Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi (Jim Rassol/USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi (Jim Rassol/USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jose Alvarado #46 of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

3. Jose Alvarado

Similar to Sam Coonrod, the Phillies also acquired left-hander Jose Alvarado this offseason via trade. In late December, the 25-year-old was dealt to Philadelphia as part of a three-team trade with the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers; the Phillies sent the 2020 World Series champions left-hander Garrett Cleavinger.

During the podcast, Kevin Frandsen and Joe Girardi discussed Alvarado’s pitching repertoire and that he almost has what it seems to be a “right-handed cutter.” “At times, it’s 98/99 [miles per hour], that’s the scary part,” Girardi said.

A former big-league catcher, Girardi noted that he looks at this pitch from a “different perspective” — he is glad he does not have to try and catch it. “How many balls would I miss and they would back to the screen, and the manager would be mad at me?” he joked. “I’m actually pretty happy that I get to watch him.”

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Debuting in 2017, the Venezuela native in Alvarado had two strong seasons in 2017 and 2018, combining for a 2.79 ERA and 1.110 WHIP, while striking out 109 batters in 93 2/3 innings. Over the past two seasons, however, he has posted just a 5.08 ERA, 1.821 WHIP, and 52 strikeouts through 39 innings.

The Phillies have confidence Alvarado will bounce back in 2021. Girardi continued that when he has types of relievers with potential and stuff like Alvarado, it is “really comforting.”

“The velocity that we’ve added, the opportunities for these guys to be put it good positions, the different looks that they give — changeups, curveballs … you got a hard lefty in Alvarado,” Girardi recently said. “We’re really excited about what we’ve done to our bullpen. Moving forward, I think this is going to be a really successful group.