Phillies Roster Moves: Jose Alvarado Optioned to AAA, Bailey Falter to start tonight against Mets
According to the Phillies, they have optioned left handed reliever and perpetual cause of heart burn Jose Alvarado to AAA-Lehigh Valley, while recalling left hander Bailey Falter, who will start tonight’s game against the New York Mets.
This is not the first time that Bailey Falter has been recalled to the show on short notice to start a game. On May 11th, he was promoted to make his first professional start against the Mariners in Seattle. In that start the Phillies won 4-2, with Falter tossing 4.1 quality innings and allowing only one run on five hits.
Falter has pitched well this season, albeit in a limed sample size. Over 12 innings Falter has posted a respectable 3.75 ERA, while striking out seven and allowing only one walk.
Falter has been fantastic this season for AAA-Lehigh Valley. He has yet to allow an earned run in 10.1 innings, with an absurd 17:1 strikeout to walk ratio. A 5th round pick out of Chino Hills High School in California, clearly the Phillies believer that Falter will continue to improve with more experience in the majors.
As for Alvarado it seemed like something bad happened every time he took the mound this season, whether it was directly his fault or not. Through seventeen appearances this season, he has an 0-1 record, while posting a 7.62 ERA with 10 walks in just thirteen innings. Last season Alvarado was wild and unpredictable, but managed to work himself out of sticky situations, holding his opponents to a .213 batting average. This season that number has ballooned to .302, even though Alvarado’s strikeout and walk percentages are similar to his career averages.
One explanation could be as simple as bad luck, as Jose’s opponents have a .417 mark on batted balls in play. Even though he Phillies bullpen seems impossibly thin, Alvarado simply hasn’t been dependable enough to warrant a spot on the 25-man roster for the time being. Hopefully he can go down to Lehigh Valley and work himself out his funk because the Phils are in serious need of hard throwing left handed relievers. Without Alvarado, Brad Hand is now the only southpaw reliever left in the Phils pen.
That’s crazy, considering how valuable left handed pitchers are in modern baseball with many teams relying heavily on matchups in high leverage situations. Apparently the Phillies aren’t interested in that, or have simply been unable to acquire talent good enough to crack the roster. Cmon Dave Dombrowsk…do better.
The move makes a lot of sense from Joe Girardi’s perspective. Unlike Alvarado, Bailey Falter is capable of pitching multiple innings and provides versatility during a packed schedule in which the Phillies may need a reliever to eat innings and like tonight, start a game on short notice. In four of Falter’s five appearances this season he has pitched at least two innings.
The Phillies certainly could use some better pitching from their bullpen which enters the day 22nd in the MLB with an ERA of 4.21.
Mickey Moniak Update:
As for another injured Phillie working to make his way back the injured list, Mickey Moniak is absolutely tearing up the minors slashing .375/.429/.625 between AA-Reading and AAA-Lehigh Valley. With numbers like that you would have to believe Moniak is close to making his return from a broken wrist suffered in the final game of Spring Training. Before the injury, Mickey has secured a spot in the Opening Day roster and was the favorite candidate to be the everyday centerfielder.
As for Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorius, we should know by this Saturday if he is ready to go on a minor league rehab assignment. Gregorius has been out since May 7th, when he sprained his left knee in a collision with Kyle Schwarber in shallow left field. Before the injury, Gregorius was much improved over his terrible 2021 season in which he was one of the worst everyday starters in all of baseball. Through 65 plate appearances, Didi is slashing .288/.338/.356 in what is expected to be his last season wearing the red pinstripes.
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