Alfaro and Cervelli could be Marlins’ Best Catching Combo in Years

dfernandez
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Francisco Cervelli #29 and Jorge Alfaro #38 of the Miami Marlins take the field during team workouts at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Francisco Cervelli #29 and Jorge Alfaro #38 of the Miami Marlins take the field during team workouts at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Florida Marlins (L-R) Jeff Conine, Charles Johnson and Gregg Zaun. (Photo by RHONA WISE / AFP) (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP via Getty Images)
Florida Marlins (L-R) Jeff Conine, Charles Johnson and Gregg Zaun. (Photo by RHONA WISE / AFP) (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Charles Johnson and Gregg Zaun

Prior to the catching successes of the early 2000s, the Marlins best backstop pairing came in 1997, when Johnson and Gregg Zaun manned the plate for Miami. During that World Series winning season, Johnson earned an All-Star birth and slashed .250/.347/.454 with 19 home runs and 63 RBI. He was awarded the Gold Glove that year as well.

Zaun saw action in 58 games and hit .301/.415/.441 with two homers and 20 RBI.

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The Marlins’ inaugural season in 1993 also featured a solid catching combo in veteran All-Star Benito Santiago and Rob Natal. Santiago played in 139 games that year, slashing .230/.291/.380 with 13 home runs, including the first-ever homer in franchise history, and 50 RBI. Natal chipped over with 41 games, hitting .214/.273/.291 with one homer and six RBI.

Alfaro and Cervelli should pair to be one of the most offensively potent combos for the Marlins at catcher since 2005. Alfaro has entered Spring Training noticeably more fit, having dropped 15 lbs prior to camp opening. Working with Cervelli should improve Alfaro’s ability to call a game and his defense. If Cervelli can regain a measure of his 2018 form, the offensive drop-off when Alfaro is out of the lineup should be minimized.

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