It’s a bit surprising that Alvarez couldn’t find a camp invite this spring, as he has still yet to turn 28 and has certainly had some impressive seasons with the Marlins. Of course, he has also battled through shoulder injuries that have unfortunately taken a toll.
Alvarez was able to make it back to the majors late in 2017 with the Phillies. He carried a 4.30 ERA in his three starts but sported an ugly 6:11 K/BB ratio. Clearly, his fastball was not back to its peak form; he averaged less than 92 mph on his four-seamer, which once routinely clocked at a mean velocity of over 94.
Even at his best, Alvarez never got many swings and misses. But he induced plenty of worm burners (54.8% career groundball rate) with an oft-used sinker. Perhaps if he can rediscover his form on that pitch, he can eventually find his way back to the majors. The Mexican League gig will certainly offer Alvarez a chance to rebuild his strength and showcase for MLB scouts.