Phillies manager Joe Girardi had one tidbit of news before his team commenced a pivotal seven-game series with the Miami Marlins on Thursday night.
Reliever Jose Alvarez may be out for the remainder of the regular season.
Alvarez was struck in the groin by a 105-mph line drive in a game against Toronto on August 20.
Initial treatment required Alvarez to rest for two weeks — not even pick up a baseball — then gradually increase his activity over a two-week period. Best case scenario was that Alvarez would be activated on September 17, one month after the injury.
Now, it sounds like that might not happen.
Girardi on Thursday said that Alvarez had just begun some light throwing and jogging. September 17 is just a week away. It’s difficult to imagine him being ready to face big-league hitters by then. The regular season ends 10 days after that.
“There’s a chance he won’t pitch in the regular season and if we get him back it would be during the playoffs,” Girardi said.
Alvarez had been the Phillies’ most consistent reliever when he went down. The left-hander had allowed just one run in 6 1/3 innings. Last season, he had a 3.36 ERA in 67 games.
Alvarez is one of two lefty relievers on the injured list. The Phillies hope to get Adam Morgan back “fairly quickly,” Girardi said. Morgan has been out with shoulder fatigue. He threw a bullpen session Wednesday.
Without Alvarez and Morgan, the Phils have been relying on Ranger Suarez and rookie JoJo Romero from the left side.
Phillies relievers have allowed 19 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings over the last five games. The team's 7.06 bullpen ERA is the worst in the majors.