Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill confirmed Thursday that Alfaro (oblique) has regained full health since the MLB season was suspended in mid-March, Craig Mish of SportsGrid.com reports. Had the regular season begun March 26 as initially planned, Alfaro might not have been ready to play, as he had been sidelined for a couple weeks before spring training was suspended due to a left oblique strain. The delayed start to the season has now afforded Alfaro ample time to move past the issue, so he should be a full participant in workouts when the Marlins are allowed to reconvene. He'll serve as the team's top backstop once again in 2020 after posting a .737 OPS in his first season with the club.
Alfaro (oblique) should be 100 percent healthy once MLB is ready to resume play. The catcher was making steady progress in his recovery from a strained oblique suffered in late February, and per Joe Frisaro and Christina de Nicola of MLB.com, Alfaro had been set to take live batting practice last weekend before camp was suspended. He'll handle No. 1 duties behind the plate for Miami after slugging a career-high 18 homers in 2019.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday that doctors have cleared Alfaro (oblique) for some light hitting and catching activities, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports. Mattingly relayed that he expects Alfaro's progression to full workouts will take "a little bit," but the Marlins are still anticipating that the backstop will be ready to go by the time Opening Day arrives March 26. Alfaro has been idle for the past week with a left oblique strain, an injury that can often carry a volatile recovery timeline. Alfaro is probably at least a week away from catching in Grapefruit League games, so in the meantime, top backup Francisco Cervelli should pick up some more work behind the plate.
Alfaro (oblique) won't swing a bat and likely won't throw for a couple of days, Christina De Nicola of MLB.com reports. He'll be able to run to stay in shape, but the Marlins aren't taking any chances with their No. 1 catcher this early in the spring. "We feel like it's something we caught it early enough," Mattingly said. "He didn't keep swinging, try to keep playing. Hopefully we're on top of it and it turns into a three-, four-, five-day thing instead of a three-week thing. But we'll see." If Alfaro avoids aggravating the oblique issue, he could return to action sometime next week.
Alfaro was removed from Thursday's lineup against the Mets with left oblique tightness, Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald reports. Ryan Lavarnway will bat eighth and handle catching duties Thursday. Alfaro is coming off his first season in Miami, hitting .262/.312/.425 with 18 home runs, 57 RBI and 44 runs scored across 465 plate appearances. The 26-year-old should be considered day-to-day.
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