3 Phillies players with the most health concerns going into the 2024 season

Whose health could mean the difference between success and failure for the Phillies this season?
Philadelphia Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado
Philadelphia Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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José Alvarado 

Finally, the success of the Phillies in 2024 could lie in the hands of bonafide reliever José Alvarado. With the departure of Craig Kimbrel to free agency this offseason, along with the Phillies' lack of pursuit of bullpen arms during this time, it appears Alvarado will be first in line for the closer role. He should get plenty of opportunity to save games this season as the potential closer-in-waiting for the ballclub.

He certainly deserves the opportunity. Not only has he had some previous experience in the role, but he actually did quite a fine job down the stretch last season when Kimbrel was struggling. Manager Rob Thomson no doubt has confidence in Alvarado's stuff to fill the role admirably, especially after he recorded 10 saves last year. Overall, he had an outstanding season, when on the mound, posting a career-best 1.74 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, along with an astounding 64 strikeouts in just 41 1/3 innings pitched.

However, the main concern will be if he can stay healthy all year. Looking back at last year, Alvarado had a recurring left elbow inflammation injury that twice kept him on the sidelines, for over two months of total time. Fortunately for the Phillies, they managed to survive without his services during that time as others stepped up in his absence, along with Kimbrel coincidentally happening to be at his best at the same time.

But there will be no Kimbrel in 2024, and there’s no guarantee the entire bullpen will be able to step up once again this time around. And presumably, as the primary closer, Alvarado’s health will be more important than ever. The Phillies should do what they can to ensure the best of health for the big man in 2024. The team will undoubtedly hope he stays healthy to help lead them to the playoffs and take care of some unfinished business.