Miami Marlins Season Preview: Henderson Alvarez


Sep 29, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez (37) delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Marlins Ballpark. The Marlins won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

For Miami Marlins’ fans, 2013 was filled with many frustrating moments. The pitching staff routinely delivered stellar performances that the offense was simply unable to support. Finally, in the last game of the season, the pitching staff had been through enough. Henderson Alvarez took the hill and the rest was history.

Alvarez’s no-hitter was a bright spot for the Marlins season, but it was also the culmination of a solid year for the young right-hander. Alvarez came over to Miami from the Blue Jays in the massive trade that stocked the Marlins minor league system. He started the season injured, which in a way helped Miami as it meant that young phenom Jose Fernandez would start his magical season right away. Even through his injuries, Alvarez was helping the team.

Henderson logged 102.2 innings pitched and posted a 3.59 ERA, certainly respectable for the young pitcher. As a matter of fact, Alvarez is the third straight pitcher that we have previewed that is under 25-years-old. Spoiler alert, more are coming! But back to Alvarez, who is by no means a power pitcher. He rely’s on control and movement, and he pitches to contact.

Henderson benefited greatly from a substantial decrease in Hr/9 innings. After allowing 1.1 and 1.4 the previous 2 years, that number dropped to 0.2 in 2013. Some of that may be attributed to Marlins Park, but for Alvarez to have success he will have to continue numbers like that. That is why I am expecting some regression from Alvarez this season. Even with an improved rate, that number would presumably creep closer to 0.7 next season, that could increase the ERA around 4.00 which would definitely diminish Alvarez’s value some.

Henderson will get every opportunity to be the number 3 starter this year. When Andrew Heaney finally gets to the major’s, expect Alvarez to drop to a 4, which is more where he should be. He is a solid 4th starter, but a mediocre 3rd.

Look for Alvarez to regress some from last year. I would not be surprised to see his ERA above 4 for much of the season. For Alvarez, it is important to stay healthy. If he is able to consistently take the mound and issue quality starts, he will be fine. If Alvarez attempts to become a strikeout pitcher, he will run into trouble. Henderson needs to pound the strike zone, and he will be successful.

I predict that Alvarez will post a record of 6-9 and throw 150 innings this season. I think his ERA will be around 4.10. What do you predict for Henderson Alvarez in 2014? Let us know in the comments below, and Go Fish!