The Miami Marlins have announced that catcher Jorge Alfaro has been cleared to resume baseball activities after dealing with inflammation in his knee.
Along with a six-game winning streak the team is riding, the Miami Marlins received some more good news this week. Catcher Jorge Alfaro has been cleared to resume baseball acitivities after dealing with inflammation in his right knee since an injury he suffered in the first game of the Spring Training season.
The move will help Alfaro, who was dealt to the Marlins in the deal that sent J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia, acclimate himself to the team’s pitching staff. It is expected Alfaro will be the team’s Opening Day catcher.
"“I think it’s realistic, the way we’re looking at it,” team manager Don Mattingly told the media on Thursday."
The hope is Alfaro will be able to resume playing baseball before the Marlins finish their Grapefruit League games Mar. 24.
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Alfaro will be charged with leading a young group of pitchers this season, sprinkled in with veteran talent. The Marlins could have as many as three starters in the rotation with less than two years of MLB experience. The team will open the season with Jose Urena on the mound, with Dan Straily the No. 2 starter.
Last season was Alfaro’s first complete year in the Majors. He hurt the right knee Feb. 23 and then reaggravated it March 5. The team has been cautious in bringing him back too soon. The injury has allowed Mattingly and the coaching staff to watch other prospects get work in.
Because the team’s minor league team plays as well in Jupiter, there is a chance for Alfaro to continue to move toward being in the lineup on Opening Day.
"“It’s getting shorter, obviously,” Mattingly said of Spring Training winding down. “We probably couldn’t afford any more setbacks at this point. But, if we’re able to move forward from here, it would be a little bit of a push. We’d have to be careful early, probably. But we think it’s realistic.”"
Wallach was in the lineup on Opening Day last season because of a back contusion to Realmuto.
"“Both of those guys are looking at that backup role,” Mattingly said. “Those guys you want to be able to handle a pitching staff, call a game, block and receive. The offense would be a plus.”"
Replacing Realmuto is no small task for Alfaro or anyone else, as the former Marlins star is considered one of the best all-around catchers in the game today.