Phillies Bullpen MVP came from an unlikely source


Former Phillies pitcher Luis Garcia embodied the rebuild of 2013-2018. He had bright spots that looked like a bright future. We asked if he could be part of the next group of Phillies.

He also looked like the worst reliever on planet Earth.

His ERA fluctuated harder than a wild roller coaster. From 2013-2018, Garcia’s ERA progressed as such:

3.73, 6.43, 3.51, 6.46, 2.65, 6.07

Those peaks and valleys are comparable to Mount Everest versus the Mariana Trench. In 2017, this man put up a 22-inning scoreless streak. His longest streak in 2016 couldn’t even get to 4 innings. In his last month as a Phillies, he had a 21 ERA.

No, I didn’t “miss a decimal point”. He gave up 14 ER in 6 IP. It was just that bad.

Yet given all that, the Angels still decided they would like to have this guy on their team. The Angels and Phillies solidified a trade on December 6, 2018.

The Phillies received Jose Alvarez in return. It even looked like a good trade then.

“Phillies received a much-needed lefty in Jose Alvarez. Alvarez had a 3.35 ERA with the Angels over 5 years and had his best season in 2018, posting a 2.71 ERA in 63 IP.”

Me, 8 months ago

I was decently satisfied with it then, but NOW it might be the best trade of the offseason.

Luis Garcia has been ugly with the Angels with his 4.70 ERA. The only thing notable he’s done is be an opener for 2 games. Meanwhile, Jose Alvarez has been the Phillies bullpen MVP.

His 2.90 ERA is the best in the Phillies bullpen, besides Tommy Hunter who pitched only 5 games. Alvarez didn’t even start off hot. He had a 4.11 ERA all the way into June 28th.

Since that time, Alvarez has allowed just 2 ER over 19 innings pitched. That’s good for a 0.95 ERA since July 1st. The lefty has been equally effective against left and right-handed hitters.

In 108 plate appearances against righties, he’s kept them to a .743 OPS. He’s slightly better against lefties, keeping them to a .720 OPS.

The Phillies traded away their worst reliever for who is their now best reliever.

Yes, something did go right in 2019 for the Phillies.

Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports