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Brinson’s hot Spring Training continues

24-year-old center fielder singled home Marlins’ first two runs Friday
March 15, 2019

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The beat goes on for Marlins center fielder Lewis Brinson. In Miami’s 7-6 win against the Braves Friday, Brinson opened the scoring with a two-out, two-run single to center field in the top of the second. He now has driven in seven runs this Spring

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The beat goes on for Marlins center fielder Lewis Brinson.

In Miami’s 7-6 win against the Braves Friday, Brinson opened the scoring with a two-out, two-run single to center field in the top of the second. He now has driven in seven runs this Spring Training.

“That was a good little piece of hitting,” manager Don Mattingly said. “It looked like a changeup that tried to get away from him, a ball that he probably didn’t get to last year. But he was able to put it in play, and that’s what we talk about with certain guys -- you got to be able to put the ball in play and stay on the ball a little longer. He was able to do that today.”

Brinson flew out to right in the fourth and grounded to short in the sixth, finishing the day 1-for-4. He also smashed a grounder to third base to lead off the game, almost beating Josh Donaldson’s throw to first.

In 461 career MLB plate appearances between the Brewers in 2017 and Marlins in '18, Brinson has hit just .189 with a .239 on-base percentage and .331 slugging percentage.

But Spring Training has been the opposite. In 158 career plate appearances, Brinson has hit .329 with a .378 OBP and .620 SLG. Brinson has hit .343 in 2019, with a .378 OBP and a whopping .800 SLG.

Mattingly believes this torrid Spring Training can carry over into Brinson’s second full season. He said experience and development from last season and into the winter has paid off for Brinson.

“He had a rough year last year, but he has been a lot better this spring,” Mattingly said. “He had a pretty good spring last year, but his at-bats have been so much better this spring. That’s really what you look at, the quality of the at-bat. His takes, his swings, have just been better.”

Alfaro starts rehabilitation workouts

Mattingly remains optimistic about catcher Jorge Alfaro’s availability for Opening Day on March 28.

Alfaro, 25, bruised his right knee in the Marlins’ first game of Spring Training on Feb. 23 and aggravated the injury on March 5. The team shut him down until Thursday to allow the swelling in his knee to subside.

“He’s been working out yesterday, working today,” Mattingly said. “I would just listen to medical [staff about] when he can actually get on the field. But he’ll be doing as much as we can possibly get him to do without irritating this thing.”

The bruise resulted from Alfaro running into a dugout railing, and a slide into second base aggravated the injury.

Up next

On Saturday, the Marlins return to Jupiter to host the Mets. Right-hander Sandy Alcantara is scheduled to throw the first pitch at 1:05 p.m ET. Jason Vargas is slated to start for the Mets.