Miami Marlins Spring Training: Checking in With the Catchers

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Brandon Nimmo #9 of the New York Mets scores on a double by Austin Jackson #18 as catcher Jorge Alfaro #38 of the Philadelphia Phillies during waits for the throw during the seventh inning of a game at Citi Field on September 9, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Phillies 6-4. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Brandon Nimmo #9 of the New York Mets scores on a double by Austin Jackson #18 as catcher Jorge Alfaro #38 of the Philadelphia Phillies during waits for the throw during the seventh inning of a game at Citi Field on September 9, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Phillies 6-4. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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This Spring Training, Marlin Maniac will keep you up-to-date on the race for the position battles going on.

On Monday we’ll focus on the Miami Marlins rotation, and Tuesday we’ll turn our attention to the outfield. Wednesdays, we’ll take a look at the bullpen, and on Friday we’ll check out how the race for spots on the infield are going. That leaves the catching corps for Thursday.

More than for every other position, save pitcher, today’s catcher is judged far more on his defensive worth than for his acuity at the plate.

The Miami Marlins have seven position hopefuls in their Spring Training locker room. Jorge Alfaro is the starter at backstop going in, and the other six guys are competing for the backup position.

Jorge Alfaro started the opener, and went 0-for-1 from the plate. In the fourth inning, he ran full tilt into a hand railing going into the Miami Marlins dugout, but stayed in the game anyway.

"I’ll be fine. I was running for the ball, and they were yelling at me, but I didn’t hear it. – Alfaro"

After getting relieved by Sharif Othman, Alfaro hasn’t appeared again. He’s not on the injured list, but has been held out with a knee bruise from the incident.

Miami Marlins Roster Hopefuls

After relieving Alfaro, Othman was 0-for-1 with a strikeout in the Spring Training opener. Othman is an eight-year minor league veteran, having spent seven of those years in the Miami Marlins system. A career .202 hitter, he’s thrown out 24.6 percent of runners trying to steal through his career. Othman hasn’t appeared since the opener, but we should expect to see him again in the next two games.

Miami Marlins
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 30: Jeff McNeil #68 of the New York Mets scores a run past Chad Wallach #17 of the Miami Marlins during the fourth inning at Citi Field on September 30, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

Chad Wallach went 1-for-3 in the second game of the season. He started his day with a strike-out, throw-out double play to erase a runner in the first inning. Wallach was later the first catcher to appear in a second game, starting in Miami’s 3-0 victory against the Houston Astros. He drew a walk in two plate appearances.

Rodrigo Vigil went 0-for-2 in relief of Wallach in Miami’s second contest. He’s been in the Miami Marlins system for nine seasons now, starting his 10th, and has a career .248/.297/.343 slashline while throwing out 39.6 percent of base-stealers.

Bryan Holaday started Miami’s third game of the spring, and went 1-for-2 from the plate with a strikeout. In Miami’s loss to the New York Mets, he had a 1-for-3 day. Defense is the biggest part of Holaday’s game, and based on his performance in 2018, he should have a leg up on the competition for the backup spot.

Miami Marlins
MIAMI, FL – APRIL 29: Bryan Holaday #28 of the Miami Marlins slides into home plate for the score in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park on April 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

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Santiago Chavez relieved Holaday in the third game, and was 1-for-2 with a run scored. Against the Mets on Wednesday, he was 0-for-1 in his plate appearances. Defensively, he tagged out Kevin Kaczmarski trying to score at the plate on a fly ball. Magneuris Sierra started the twin killing off the bat of Sam Haggerty.

The last catcher to appear in a game, B.J. Lopez relieved Wallach against the Astros. Before he ever got to the plate, he threw out Myles Straw trying to take second. Lopez was 0-for-1 from the plate officially, but collected an RBI when he reached base on a fielders choice and Harold Ramirez crossed the plate. Through his seven-year minor league career, Lopez has racked up a 35 percent kill-rate on would-be base stealers.

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Next. The Bullpen. dark

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