2 Phillies players whose hot starts will continue, 1 who will fade

Which Phillies have a good chance at continuing their hot start to the season, and who will regress?
Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm
Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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José Alvarado will continue his hot start

José Alvarado got off to a disastrous start on Opening Day versus the Atlanta Braves. The left-hander allowed five earned runs, three hits, and two walks in 2/3 of an inning.

Since then, Alvarado has improved in his last 10 appearances with a 1.00 ERA, a 0.78 WHIP, and nine strikeouts in nine innings. The reliever has now registered four saves as well.

The 28-year-old had an up-and-down first season with Philadelphia in 2021, posting a 4.20 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP in 64 contests. The following year, he lowered his ERA to 3.18 and finished with a 1.22 WHIP. He experienced his share of struggles during the 2022 postseason, with a 5.56 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in 12 contests. He allowed seven earned runs and five walks and had 14 strikeouts.

Alvarado was arguably the Phillies' best reliever last season despite having multiple stints on the IL with left elbow inflammation. In 42 games, he had a career-low 1.74 ERA, converted 10 of 12 save opportunities and had a 1.16 WHIP, 64 strikeouts, and 18 walks in 41 1/3 innings.

He continued his solid play into the playoffs and finished with a 1.13 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in eight games. He recorded six strikeouts, three walks and one earned run. Even though manager Rob Thomson did not officially name a closer during the postseason, he should have put the left-hander in the closer role rather than Craig Kimbrel.

Alvarado looks like the Phillies' best option to be their closer this year, as anticipated and is already 4-for-4 in save opportunities. He has the most saves and saves opportunities of all the team's other relievers. Despite his previous lack of save opportunities compared to other closers in the league, he is Philadelphia's best option as its closer.