Even though they’ve been bitten by the injury bug quite hard over the first few months of the season, the Dodgers still control the NL West by a full four games while sporting the best record on the senior circuit at 35-17.
Already, we’ve seen several new faces on the team, specifically a pair of blue-chip pitching prospects in Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove. Super-utility man Zach McKinstry made his return to the majors when outfielder Kevin Pillar fractured his shoulder earlier this week. In the most recent move on Friday, the team selected the contract of infielder Eddy Alvarez when slugger Edwin Rios went down with a hamstring strain.
The 32-year-old Alvarez was among the many minor league signings front-office boss Andrew Friedman and his crew snagged during last winter’s lockout period when major league deals were shut down.
As you’ve likely heard, Alvarez’s backstory is interesting because he is just one of six athletes to have medaled in different sports at both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Alvarez earned a silver medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi as part of the United States 5000-meter relay speedskating team. He won his second silver medal last year in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, after he and the rest of the men’s baseball team lost to Japan in the Gold Medal Game.
Alvarez was a star shortstop at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, and he was signed by the White Sox on a minors deal back in 2014 after hanging up his skates. He began his professional baseball career with the Low-A Kannapolis Intimidators later that summer.
The 5-foot-9 lefty hitter is one of those grinder types of players who seemingly will do whatever he can to get on base, although there’s really not much to write home about in the slugging department. He had one of Triple-A Oklahoma City’s most productive averages early in the year at .304/.430/.500, coupled with an impressive 13.4% walk rate.
After being traded by the White Sox to the Marlins in 2019, Alvarez hit the majors for the first time and produced a not-so-stellar .188/.287/.287 slash line over 115 plate appearances in parts of two seasons. Over the course of his eight-year minor league career, he has tallied a .282/.383/.423 slash line with 51 homers over 660 games and 2783 PA.
Alvarez could be valuable to the Dodgers as a defender, fitting the Hanser Alberto type of mold. Alvarez is sure handed with a decent arm and can handle all three of the second base, shortstop, and third base spots reliably.
Early indications are that Rios will miss a handful of weeks despite not needing surgery after part of his tendon apparently came off the bone. However, Max Muncy could possibly begin a rehab assignment as early as this weekend, signaling that his potential return might not be too far away.
16 thoughts on “A Closer Look at Eddy Alvarez”
I hope they delay Muncy until they are sure his elbow will not restrict his offense. Playing a regular that is injured and cannot perform to their usual standards is not very strategic. Roberts continued to play Muncy even though he was not making any contact. He was getting a lot of walks but not helping in potential run-scoring opportunities. Muncy is not the best defensive second baseman. He has to contribute offensively to be a contributor.
Alvarez sounds like a solid contributor. With Rios down, I was hoping they would bring up Vargas for a little preview as he plays 3rd base. But Vagas will be a long-time MLB player so I imagine they want to keep him down until 2023.
Friedman has his talent mojo working. Hard to believe Anderson was an afterthought as he has been incredible with his 7-0 record and pitching at least into the 6 innings in his games.
Are they going to put Anderson back in the pen when Heaney and Kershaw come back?
Hudson has been good. A little concerned about Kimbrel being hit hard sometimes. With Kershaw, Heaney, and Ferguson coming back the team should have less stress when they have several series in a row. With the 3 guys at the top of the order hitting and Lux and Taylor also contributing if Bellinger can come around this team will be even more dominant. Very impressed with Lux’s at-bats. He now looks aggressive in the batter’s box. I had guessed 104 wins this year and winning the NL West. They may beat that.
It will probably be sometime toward the end of the month when Heaney actually makes it back, so they can delay the question of what to do with the rotation until then. Assuming none of the other five is injured by then, they might very well go with some sort of modified 6 man rotation.
They can’t put Anderson or Gonsolin in the bullpen the way they are pitching. They aren’t going to do that to Buehler or Urias or Kershaw. That would leave Heaney as the most likely if they decide they absolutely want to stick to a 5 man rotation.
These things have a way of working themselves out. Unfortunately, often times that solution is due to an injury. We’ll know by month end, I guess.
I still hate it when they call up 32 year old, over the hill retreads, when they supposedly have a stacked farm system. Give these young guys a chance to perform. Even if not performing the experience is invaluable. There is zero upside with the retreads.
Gordon, you’re going to have to stop this age discrimination thing you’ve got going here. I think it’s illegal in at least 25 states and you could be arrested. I’m telling you right now that although I enjoy our back and forth here, I’m not going to bail you out.
The Nationals have an outfielder by the name of Yadiel Hernandez. He made his debut two years ago at the age of 32 and in very few at bats he hit below the Mendoza line. But, they didn’t give up on him and last year at the age of 33 he got about 250 at bats and hit .273 with an OPS+ of 104 (above league average). This year in about 150 at bats (which means about 500 for a full season) his OPS+ is 120. It can be done. The stacked farm system you refer to has lots of excellent position player prospects, most all of whom are not yet in AAA or have just arrived there.
OK, I cede the floor for your rebuttal.
Watching Buehler struggle he may need to step away and get his mechanics right. Slammed tonight against the Mets. 5 runs in 2 innings is ugly.
Well Jeff I must admit that it is rare to see a 32 year old break into the big. But our 32 year Olds have already proven they are no longer major leaguers. And we need to get our guys up here. Most are a age when they should be given a chance. Or discarded.
A 32-year-old with a career .188 average much less.
Our 32 year old washed up Mr. Alvarez went 2-4 today, including knocking in the game tying run in the 9th and also had a great defensive play at 3rd base.
Future HOF Mookie Betts went 0-4, including leaving the tying run at 2nd base in the 10th.
…and 23-year-old Brusdar Graterol still has no movement on his fastball.
Get rid of the young guys! Bring back Ethier!
Somebody told me J.P. Howell was at an open tryout for the Drillers this weekend. Maybe he could help the bullpen a bit.
…Matt Guerrier is his new agent.
Guerrier always over-estimates his client’s worth. I don’t think we can get a deal done.
I think Guerrier is trying to find Josh Ravin a job, too.
Somewhere, in the depths of America, there are a few ex-players who are thrilled that Dennis Schlossman remembers their names.
Now tell the truth Dennis, do you have these guys stored in your brain or are you taking advantage of that wonderful tool called Google?
Honestly, neither. I just think of Ned Colletti and my mind automatically reverts to all the relievers he signed over the years.