June 26, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Jose Alvarez (52) pitches in the second inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jose Alvarez had to make five starts for the Tigers this year and fared pretty well. Not great, but getting a 4.62 ERA from your number six starter isn’t horrible. Jim Leyland will probably want a man or two in the pen in September in case of emergency (it’s never fun to be running out of arms in the 14th inning), but might Alvarez have a shot at the postseason roster? It’s probably a long, long shot, but Phil Coke is clearly falling out of favor, and he hasn’t been all that good against lefties this season (.307 OBP allowed). Alvarez hasn’t performed all that well against left-handed hitters himself this season, but a lot of his .382 OBP against probably has to do with a .400 BABIP. He’s struck out 26% of the lefties he’s faced, so perhaps he deserves a chance? Pitchers always get better when they switch to relief.