Phillies notes: Alvarado accepts ban, eye test for Cutch? CF No. 5?


Major League Baseball has reduced Jose Alvarado's suspension to two games.

The Phillies' reliever began the suspension Monday night.

With Alvarado out, the Phils called up lefty Cristopher Sanchez to help in the bullpen and sent Scott Kingery to the minors. With Kingery gone and Bryce Harper hurting, the Phillies were short on the bench for Monday night's game against Milwaukee. 

Alvarado initially received a three-game suspension for instigating a bench-clearing incident against the New York Mets on Friday night.

Alvarado struck out Domonic Smith with two runners in scoring position to end the top of the eighth inning and protect a one-run lead. After pounding his chest in celebration, Alvarado motioned at Smith as he walked from the mound. The pitcher then tossed his glove aside and called on Smith, a la Tie Domi. The benches emptied and peace was restored without any punches being thrown.

After the game, Smith criticized Alvarado for acting tough with his teammates serving as his backup. He invited Alvarado to meet him in the tunnel if he wanted to settle it one-on-one.

Smith was fined for the incident.

Smith and the Phillies have been yapping at each other all season. In April, Smith stared down Aaron Nola after a close pitch. A week later, Smith shouted at Alvarado after the pitcher hit Michael Conforto with a pitch.

Alvarado pitched against the Mets in the eighth inning Sunday night. He faced three batters, allowed two walks, a hit and three runs. He threw 11 pitches, just three of which were strikes. The Mets scored six runs in the inning and rallied for an 8-7 win to take two of three from the Phillies.

Eye chart

After misplaying a ball Saturday night, left fielder Andrew McCutchen said he'd had trouble picking up the ball on occasion this season.

Manager Joe Girardi, who noticed those comments, was asked Monday if a vision exam might be in order for McCutchen.

"I believe he had it checked out in spring training," Girardi said. "I believe that there has been talk about evaluating it. I'm not sure if there is a schedule for that, when it is, or if there is one. But it's one of the things on my docket today."

CF No. 5?

The Phillies have gotten woeful production from their center fielders this season. Entering Monday night, Phillies center fielders were hitting a combined .098 with a .186 on-base percentage and a .163 slugging percentage. Those were all the worst marks in the majors.

With second baseman Jean Segura nearing a return from the injured list, Girardi was asked if infielder Nick Maton could see some action in center field.

"That's something that has been talked about a little bit," Girardi said. "We've had him take fly balls to increase his availability to us. I'm not sure yet."

Though an infielder by trade, Maton profiles as a versatile jack of all trades. Maton entered Monday's game 16 for 46 (.348) with five doubles.

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