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Alfaro visits children in local hospital

Catcher to wear sleeve, cleats designed by kids in cancer center
@JoeFrisaro
August 23, 2019

MIAMI -- Players’ Weekend was a chance for Jorge Alfaro to spend some time with a handful of children at a local cancer-treatment hospital near Marlins Park. Alfaro, the Marlins’ catcher, visited Alex’s Place at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is part of the University of Miami Health System. The

MIAMI -- Players’ Weekend was a chance for Jorge Alfaro to spend some time with a handful of children at a local cancer-treatment hospital near Marlins Park.

Alfaro, the Marlins’ catcher, visited Alex’s Place at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is part of the University of Miami Health System.

The children presented Alfaro with a gift -- they wrote special messages and drew images, including the cancer ribbon, on the cleats and arm sleeve he wore on Friday night in Miami’s game against the Phillies.

"It really impacts me because you can see that they're going through actual battles -- real struggles,” Alfaro said. “Sometimes you complain about your day-to-day and then you see that this is a real battle for life. You can realize that sometimes you have a bad day, but it's not the end of the world."

In its third season, Players’ Weekend is a designated three days in which players pick the name they want on their back. Alfaro is going with “El Oso,” Spanish for “The Bear.”

All home teams throughout MLB are wearing white, including white helmets, and the visitors are in black.

Marlins right fielder Brian Anderson (Andy) says the white and black uniforms make it difficult to recognize some of the players he sees on television. But that’s also part of the appeal.

“It is a little bit harder to recognize some guys, but that’s kind of the fun of it, too,” Anderson said. “You can kind of express yourself a different way. I think it’s cool to just get away from the norm.”

Worth noting
• The Miami Marlins Foundation kicked off Impact Week on Friday with a Play Ball event at Poinciana Park Elementary in Liberty City. During Impact Week the Miami Marlins Foundation will launch programs in the areas of wellness, empowerment and youth baseball and softball impacting the South Florida community. Fans looking to participate can visit www.Marlins.com/ImpactWeek to submit bids for unique experiences and memorabilia as part of an online auction to benefit the Miami Marlins Foundation programs. The auction will close on Aug. 29.

Fans can also make an impact by donating $1 at any Marlins Park concession and rounding up their purchases at the Marlins Park retail stores. Additional opportunities to donate are available at restaurant partners SuViche, Novecento and Miami's Best Pizza locations around town.

• Shortstop Miguel Rojas (right hamstring strain) and outfielder César Puello (left hip flexor strain) began their rehab assignments for Class A Advanced Jupiter on Friday.

Pablo López (right shoulder strain) threw a bullpen session on Friday, and his next start is still to be determined. Lopez threw six innings in a rehab start for Double-A Jacksonville on Wednesday, and the earliest he would be ready to start again is Monday, which would be the Marlins’ series opener with the Reds. But the organization may look to space the rotation out, or even give Lopez one more rehab start.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.