When Jose Fernandez went down with a torn UCL back in May, this Marlins rotation looked like a ship without a captain. When an ace like Fernandez gets injured, somebody else needs to step up and take the leadership role in the rotation. Henderson Alvarez has accepted the challenge.
When Jose was healthy, we had something to look forward to every 5 days. If the team was on a losing streak, or desperately needed a deep start, you could count on Jose to go out there and shut it down. When he got hurt, it looked like we had nobody to turn to for that consistency. Alvarez has really settled down into his role lately, and delivered quality start after quality start.
He doesn’t dominate hitters like Fernandez, but he certainly knows how to get outs; shown by his 2.33 ERA and 3.01 FIP. He’s been incredibly solid, with 3 complete game shut outs this season. He gets ground balls, which lead to double plays, hence low pitch counts and an all out inning-eater.
Alvarez flashed his potential last season, finishing it out with a no hitter in his last start, but many doubted his ability to make the leap from league-average to a top-tier talent. He’s done just that, minus the national media attention, he is certainly becoming a star in Miami.
Alvarez has found his style of pitching, and knows how to use all of his tools. His maturity is incredibly rare for such a young player, and he continues to impress as the season goes on. He has certainly been the most reliable starter on the team, as the rest of the rotation has had its share of ups and downs. I can’t wait to see what the second half holds for this young gun, because he’s as exciting a pitcher as we’ve had in Miami outside of Jose Fernandez.