July 8: The outlook on Alvarado is worse than originally anticipated. Topkin tweets that following an MRI and a meeting with a doctor yesterday, the Rays expect Alvardo to be sidelined for anywhere from six to eight weeks.
Tampa Bay is facing a stretch of games that’ll prove pivotal to determining their level of aggression as the trade deadline approaches. The loss of Alvarado for such a substantial chunk of time will surely play into that calculus between now and July 31, as their need for ’pen reinforcements is now even more acute.
July 6: According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter links), Rays lefty Jose Alvarado has suffered an oblique injury that could keep him sidelined for the next 2-6 weeks. Alvarado was pulled from today’s game against the Yankees after wincing on the follow-through of his final pitch.
Alvarado, 24, hasn’t exactly provided invaluable innings to the Rays’ bullpen this year (4.85 ERA / 3.55 FIP across 26 innings), but much of that damage came in a recent five-run meltdown two appearances ago. It was only last year that he posted terrific numbers in his first full big league campaign. In 2018, the sizable left-hander recorded 80 K’s in 64 innings for the 90-win Rays, while logging a terrific 2.39 ERA.
The Tampa Bay bullpen, on the whole, has been quite effective in 2019, with a collective 3.65 ERA–good enough for second among all major league relief units. Alvarado had only returned to that group on June 29th, following nearly a month away from the team spent tending to a family health emergency in his native Venezuela. There has been no word yet of resultant roster moves in the wake of this injury.