Sunday: Alvarado felt the injury after yesterday’s game, not on any specific pitch during the contest, he tells Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. He’ll undergo an MRI Monday, Topkin adds. The team confirmed his IL placement today, calling his injury “left elbow inflammation.”
Saturday, 9:33 pm: Topkin confirms the move, adding that infielder Joey Wendle will return to the active roster on Sunday to take Alvarado’s place (Twitter link). Specifics on Alvarado’s injury are still forthcoming.
Saturday, 9:02 pm: Rays manager Kevin Cash told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that reliever Jose Alvarado is heading for the injured list once again after the lefty complained of elbow pain following Tampa’s 7-1 loss to Baltimore today (Twitter link). Alvarado was previously activated from the injured list on Aug. 13 after missing time with an oblique strain.
The tides of injury are currently running against the Rays, who recently lost key infielder Brandon Lowe for the rest of the season. Now, this report indicates that Cash will again be without the services of one of his more imposing bullpen arms.
Though Alvarado hasn’t been battle-tested enough to be called a bullpen stalwart, his left arm features a blazing fastball that Cash has felt comfortable deploying against both same-sided and right-handed batters this year. His healthy 12.6% Swinging Strike rate hints at the effectiveness of his 98 mph sinker and his nearly untouched cutter, the latter of which has induced a .080 BA when used against opposing hitters this year. Alvarado had amassed just 3.0 scoreless innings this second-half following his return from injury, and now, ominously, comes this news of an ailing elbow. The lefty had been used as the “opener” in tonight’s game–an appearance which, possibly due to injury, saw Alvarado unleash two wild pitches en route to an ineffective .1 IP of work.