Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro has shown he can be a valuable asset to the Miami Marlins at the plate and as a solid defensive backstop.
If the Marlins were looking to make a statement heading into next season, they picked a good time to make one. And with Alfaro coming alive at the dish, smacking his 16th and 17th dingers of year, the franchise can say with confidence the catcher it received in return for J.T. Realmuto from Philadelphia has exceeded expectations.
When you trade away an All-Star catcher and receiver Alfaro and top minor league prospects in return, you wait to see if the deal you make is comparable. With Sixto Sanchez looking every bit the ace the front office thought he would be when he was acquired, and Alfaro doing well defensively and on the base pads, this deal is at least a push for both sides.
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Fans down in Miami would like to think they got the better end of the deal, but until Sanchez makes his Major League debut, it’s still an unknown.
The 8-4 win over the Mets was significant because the Marlins now can play the role of spoiler in the wild card race. The loss significantly damaged New York’s chances of making the postseason. Miami will try to use the last week of the season to build momentum for 2020 – a year that must show this organization made all the right moves to secure future talent for this franchise.
With the victory, the team significantly damaged the Mets’ Wild Card hopes. New York is now five games behind the Brewers for the final WC spot in the National League with six games to play in the regular season.
"“[The Mets] are in a little bit of trouble with teams in front of them at this point,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “For us, we just want to continue to play hard. It’s good for us to end the year by playing the Nationals, [the Mets] and the Phillies.“We are playing teams that are in the hunt. You need to win games, no matter what the situation is. We talk about making sure we are playing hard and doing our part.”"
The victory was also the 10th win of the season for Caleb Smith, who is the only starter with a .500 record in 2019.
The Marlins are getting key performances from their youngsters this month, something that could prove to be a preview of next year. Alfaro should benefit from having worked with the rotation this season and walks into 2020 as one of the players the front office and the coaching staff will count on for a leadership role in the clubhouse and on the diamond.