The Philadelphia Phillies had an epic collapse on Wednesday afternoon that saw them lose 13-12 to the Washington Nationals. The Phillies’ bullpen gave up eight runs after starting pitcher Vince Velasquez exited the game in the fifth inning.
One of the pitchers that struggled in the game was closer Hector Neris, who allowed a game-winning RBI single to Starlin Castro in the top of the ninth inning. It was the fifth blown save opportunity for Neris this season.
With that in mind, Phillies manager Joe Giraldi has decided to go into another direction to remedy his team’s bullpen woes. According to Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jose Alvarado will get the first crack at save opportunities for the Phillies, per Girardi.
The flame-throwing Alvarado has the stuff to be a closer, but has had issues with control this season. The 26-year-old has a four-pitch arsenal, which includes a four-seam fastball that can reach 100-plus mph. He's been used more as a setup man for the Phils, but has a record of 5-0 with 2.72 ERA, and two saves in three save opportunities.