UPDATE (Feb. 29, 11:10 a.m. PT): The Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated Yadier Alvarez from the restricted list and designated him for assignment.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have essentially given prospect Yadier Alvarez a second chance this spring after he was placed on the restricted list and hardly pitched in 2019 due to off-the-field issues.
The main reason for him being placed on the restricted list after only pitching two games for Triple-A Oklahoma City was multiple unexcused absences. Alvarez seemingly reported to Camelback Ranch a new man after seeing a therapist in the offseason, determined to act more professionally moving forward.
The arm talent is certainly there for Alvarez, who was once one of the organization’s top prospects and is still only 23 years of age. It’s the other aspects of being a professional baseball player that he needs to figure out, and it seems like he is on his way.
Unfortunately, it is now not looking as if Alvarez will be removed from the restricted list anytime soon. He was scheduled to make his first Cactus League appearance on Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers, but he ended up being scratched after not being able to get loose in the bullpen.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts then revealed on Saturday morning that Alvarez will be shut down from throwing to undergo further testing, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Dave Roberts said Yadier Alvarez is shut down, getting tests done to determine why he couldn’t pitch yesterday.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 29, 2020
It is unknown what kind of injury Alvarez is dealing with, but this is obviously a tough break for a pitcher that worked so hard to get himself in a place physically and mentally to get back on the mound this season.
Considering the Dodgers would have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, they likely are not in a rush to activated Alvarez from the restricted list, which should allow him as much time as he needs to get healthy.
The hope remains that Alvarez will get his career back on track and become a valuable weapon for the Dodgers. Getting healthy has to be his main priority before that can happen though.
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