The Rays have added left-hander Jose Alvarado to their roster for the ALCS, activating the southpaw from the 45-day injured list, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (Twitter link). To create roster space, right-hander Oliver Drake was designated for assignment.
Alvarado last pitched on August 14, as inflammation in his throwing shoulder ended up sidelining the lefty for much of the season. Alvarado only pitched nine innings over nine games for Tampa Bay, posting a 6.00 ERA and recording 13 strikeouts against six walks. It marked the second straight abbreviated year for Alvarado, who was limited to 30 innings in 2019 due to injuries and an absence for family reasons.
Clearly, however, the Rays feel comfortable that Alvarado is now ready and able to contribute in their quest for the American League pennant. When healthy in 2018, Alvarado was a dominant force in Tampa’s bullpen, posting a 2.39 ERA, 11.3 K/9, and 2.76 K/BB rate over 64 innings. Alvarado dominated both right-handed and left-handed batters that season, but he has some far more drastic splits in 2019-20. Though the idea of a lefty specialist has been somewhat mitigated by the new three-batter rule, the Rays could perhaps try as best they can to position Alvarado against only left-handed bats.
Drake suffered a right flexor tendon strain during the ALDS that led to his removal from the active roster, and he could now be left off Tampa’s roster entirely depending on his trip through DFA limbo. Drake posted a 5.73 ERA, 1.17 K/BB rate, and 5.7 K/9 over 11 innings this season, and since he is eligible for his second trip through arbitration this winter, the designation could be the Rays’ way of getting a planned non-tender out of the way early. In 2019, Drake was a very effective reliever for the Rays, with a 3.21 ERA, 11.3 K/9, 52.3% grounder rate, and 3.68 K/BB rate over 56 innings.
I would not mind Drake in Texas. Dude has nasty stuff.
He’s pitched for seven teams in six years. One could look at it as seven teams have decided to get rid of him. Or on the other hand you could say seven different teams have thought he was worth pitching for them.
Alvarado is the arm everyone forgot about during the alds since he was hurt. Bullpen just got more dangerous
Hasn’t been all that good (or healthy) since 2018.
he can still throw 100 from the left side against a good astros team
The STABLE is set! Almost time to let them loose.
Sad. A fringe player for a long time, he gets to the playoffs and gets DFAed.
Great Ephus pitch, though.
And he went to the Navy Academy. He doesn’t have to worry about finding a job.
Love the Drake!
Drake has been DFA’d 10 times in his career. Seems like a lot for a guy with 204.1 career innings.
I don’t know whether to feel bad for Oliver Drake going through this again, or to be excited that my Oliver Drake feed on the MLBTR app is sure to be hoppin all winter
Seems Drake will benefit if/when the Rays win the ALCS and the World Series. Oh he’ll be picked up with all the Rays publicity as well.