Marlins' right-hander Henderson Alvarez is undergoing an MRI on his pitching elbow, according to a report from Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro notes that there is a high level of concern about Alvarez's arm, with the Marlins also having some worries about the right-hander's shoulder.
Alvarez, who turns 25 on Saturday, has made two starts for Miami this season, allowing six earned runs in twelve innings of work while getting tabbed with the loss in both outings.
He last pitched against the Rays on Sunday, allowing four earned runs in five innings. His velocity was down in Sunday's start, leading to concern throughout the Marlins' organization that something could be physically wrong.
If Alvarez is to miss significant time, it would be a huge blow for a Marlins' club that lost ace Jose Fernandez to Tommy John surgery and is currently working with a rotation of Alvarez, Mat Latos, Tom Koehler, Dan Haren and Jarred Cosart.
What options do the Marlins have?
The team would likely turn to either David Phelps or Brad Hand to take Alvarez's spot in the rotation, although Jhoulys Chacin, Paul Maholm and ex-Marlin Kevin Slowey are also available as free-agent options, if the team looks outside of the organization.
In parts of five major-league seasons with the Blue Jays and Marlins, Alvarez has posted a lifetime 27-32 record and 3.71 ERA in 90 starts. His best season came last year, when he was named to the NL All-Star team en route to an excellent 12-7 record and 2.65 ERA in 30 starts for Miami.
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