Throughout the 2016-17 offseason, Fish Stripes will be going back over the Top 100 Marlins of all time, from their inception as the Florida Marlins in 1993 through today's incarnation as the Miami Marlins. I used the WAR metric to order all potential members of the list. Today's Marlin, Henderson Javier Alvarez, earned a mark of 6.5 while with the team.
Alvarez is a 6’, 205 lb. right-hander from Valencia, Venezuala. Born on April 18th, 1990, the Toronto Blue Jays signed him just after the 2006 season as an amateur free agent. He debuted with the Jays in 2011, and over two seasons started 41 games for Toronto. He went 10-17 with a 4.52 ERA, a 4.87 FIP, a 1.363 WHIP, and 119 strikeouts in 251.0 innings. After the 2012 campaign, the Jays traded him with Anthony DeSclafani, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Marisnick, Jeff Mathis and Justin Nicolino to the Marlins for Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and Jose Reyes.
Alvarez, who started the 2013 season on the disabled list due to shoulder inflammation, racked up a 1.11 ERA and 15 strikeouts versus a single walk in 24.1 innings of rehab work on his way to the Marlins. He made his debut with the team on July 4th, earning a no-decision after allowing three earned runs in five innings of work as the Marlins defeated the Atlanta Braves, 4-3. On July 26th, Alvarez earned his first NL victory when he allowed two hits and struck out five over six innings, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-0. On September 14th, he pitched seven shutout innings, striking out five and giving up four hits in a 3-0 victory against the New York Mets. On the last day of the season, September 29th, he threw the fifth no-hitter in Marlins history, walking one and striking out four in a 1-0 win against the Detroit Tigers. Alvarez earned the no-hitter in walk-off fashion, when Tigers pitcher Luke Putkonen threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, allowing Giancarlo Stanton to cross the plate. For his efforts that week, he was named the NL Player of the Week.
In total, Alvarez posted a 5-6 record over 17 starts through the second half of the season for the Marlins. He earned a 3.59 ERA, a 3.18 FIP, a 1.140 WHIP, and 57 whiffs in 102.2 innings pitched.
In 2014, Alvarez made the all star team for the first time in his career, going 12-7 over 30 starts for the Marlins. He earned an NL sixth 2.65 ERA, a 3.58 FIP, a 1.235 WHIP, and 111 strikeouts in 187.0 innings to finish 12th in the NL Cy Young award vote, and his 4.6 WAR ranked eighth in the senior circuit. He led the league with three shutouts, 35 assists from the mound, and a 2.60 range factor. On April 19th, he shut out the Seattle Mariners on two hits, striking out four for his first win of the season, 7-0. On May 6th, he shut out the Mets on six hits, striking out seven for a 3-0 victory. A month later on June 3rd, he threw his third blanking of the year on eight hits, striking out five Rays in a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay.
We expected more of the same out of Alvarez in 2015, but he opened the season with four losses in four starts, a 1.567 WHIP, a 6.45 ERA, and just nine whiffs in 22.1 innings. He went on the disabled list afterward, and has yet to make it back to the major leagues. He signed a free agent contract with the Oakland Athletics after the 2015 campaign, and is currently long-tossing from 120 feet. Seven teams have asked for updates on his progress, so there should be a minor league contract in the works for “The Entertainer” soon.
I’ll be writing up through number 21 in this countdown based on WAR, but YOU, dear readers, will order the top 20 based on popular vote! The list below is self explanatory. Keep checking back here as we continue the march to Opening Day, right here at Fish Stripes.