Oakland Athletics’ starter Henderson Alvarez should be healthy by May 2016
Sorry Rich Hill, it seems as though your role as the Oakland Athletics’ No. 2 starting pitcher in the 2016 rotation may be temporary. As San Francisco Chronicle writer Susan Slusser told 95.7 The Game on Wednesday morning, right-handed pitcher Henderson Alvarez is expected to fill that spot in the rotation once he is healthy. Alvarez landed on the disabled list in April of 2015 and ultimately underwent shoulder surgery that July.
As a result of his injury, the Miami Marlins decided to non-tender Alvarez — a crazy move in my opinion. Oakland was able to act quickly and sign Alvarez to a one year deal. Now, should he come back fully healthy, he is expected to join Sonny Gray at the top of the rotation in May.
It does not make that much sense as to why the Marlins let Alvarez go unless they truly thought that he would not be as successful once recovering from his shoulder surgery. However, he was a 2014 All Star and threw a no hitter at just 23 years old. It is clear that this kid has a lot of talent that won’t just go away overnight.
During his All Star year in 2014, Alvarez held a 2.65 ERA over 30 starts. He also had a 1.24 WHIP, 12-7 winning record, and three shutouts. Finally, he only allowed 14 home runs that entire season.
Unfortunately, Alvarez has dealt with shoulder issues for the past two years. However, if this surgery completely fixes his shoulder problem and he returns to his 2014 form, he will be a great asset for the Oakland Athletics’ starting rotation. So far, things are looking good for Alvarez actually threw off the mound this week during spring training. He has not pitched off of a mound since his surgery last July.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the rotation shakes out when Alvarez returns as well as starting pitcher Jarrod Parker. If Parker can also return to his best form, he will most likely rise higher in the rotation than Hill. A’s fans could see Hill start the season in the No. 2 spot only to watch him fall to the No. 4 position when better starters join the rotation.
Should Alvarez make a full recovery, this could be the best pick-up the Oakland Athletics made this offseason. It should be fun to watch two dynamic 26-year-old starters – Alvarez will be 26 in April – take on some veteran MLB players this season. Gray and Alvarez could deliver a nice one-two-punch at the top of the rotation.