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Phillies reliever José Alvarado heads to injured list with injury that cost him two months last season

Alvarado said he tried to pitch through the injury last summer and made it worse. This time, he spoke up and expects to be back soon.

Phillies pitcher Jose Alvarado points to first base against the New York Mets on Saturday, August 7, 2021 in Philadelphia.
Phillies pitcher Jose Alvarado points to first base against the New York Mets on Saturday, August 7, 2021 in Philadelphia.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

Phillies reliever José Alvarado was placed on the 10-day injured list and said the discomfort he felt this week in his left shoulder is similar to what he felt last August when he missed nearly two months after trying to pitch through it with Tampa Bay. The difference this August, Alvarado said, is that he spoke up.

“Last year, I didn’t say anything to anybody,” said Alvarado, who went on the injured list last season on Aug. 15 and did not pitch again until Oct. 14. “This year, the same thing as last year, and I don’t want to lose the rest of the year.”

The Phillies labeled the injury as a left shoulder impingement and Alvarado said he’s “feeling a little fatigued. That’s it.”

“I don’t know. It’s like death: You never know when it’s going to happen,” he said. “One day you are here, one day you are not. I was feeling fine one day to the next. Then, I started feeling weak. But I’m confident I will come back strong.”

The injury depletes an already thinned bullpen of its lone left-handed reliever (Matt Moore is likely starting Saturday) and also gives Joe Girardi one less arm for high-leverage situations. The Phillies replaced Alvarado with Connor Brogdon, who was activated from the injured list.

Alvarado has been erratic, but he’s been effective when he’s right. His last three outings were scoreless.

Alvarado said he does not expect to miss more than 10 days but is awaiting the results of an MRI. He’s not sure what caused the injury but knew something wasn’t right earlier this week when he had trouble throwing hard while playing catch. It’s not ideal for a pitcher who relies on velocity the way Alvarado does.

“Mentally, I am strong,” Alvarado said. “Nothing has changed. I’m coming to the park with the same mentality. Continue to work out. Coming back soon to help my team. That’s it.”

McCutchen’s back

Andrew McCutchen’s knee injury cost him just 10 days as he returned to the team on Wednesday. McCutchen has been one of the team’s most productive hitters since June, but the Phillies overcame his absence to win eight of the nine games he missed.

More Moore

Moore will likely start Saturday for the Phillies as he returns to the rotation -- for a day, at least -- just two weeks after he was jettisoned to the bullpen. The left-hander allowed three hits and three runs on Tuesday night while recording just one out in relief.

He has a 6.79 ERA this season, but the Phillies don’t have many other options to start on Saturday as Chase Anderson and Vince Velasquez remain on the injured list.

» READ MORE: Héctor Neris is throwing more sinkers and helping to lift the Phillies’ bullpen

Who’s at first?

Alec Bohm started Wednesday night at first base, which could be the team’s solution to replace Rhys Hoskins while he’s on the injured list with a strained left groin. Hoskins can return as early as Tuesday, but it’s unclear how severe his injury is. Playing Bohm at first allows Girardi to play a stronger defender at third base, which he did on Wednesday by inserting Ronald Torreyes into the lineup.

Extra bases

Seranthony Dominguez was scheduled to make a rehab appearance Wednesday night with double-A Reading. It is the right-hander’s fourth rehab appearance as he tries to return after undergoing Tommy John surgery last July. ... Sam Coonrod (right forearm tendinitis) threw a bullpen session before the game and Velasquez (right middle-finger blister) will throw live batting practice this weekend. ... Ranger Suarez’ pitch count will roughly be capped at 75 when he starts Thursday afternoon’s series finale against the Dodgers.