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Notes: Monte's 2nd chance; Alfaro raring to go

@JoeFrisaro
July 5, 2020

MIAMI -- Don't count Monte Harrison out from making the Marlins' Opening Day roster. The 24-year-old outfielder has been given a second chance to make the big league club, three months after he was optioned to Triple-A Wichita. "Obviously, the new Summer Camp really puts him back into the equation,"

MIAMI -- Don't count Monte Harrison out from making the Marlins' Opening Day roster.

The 24-year-old outfielder has been given a second chance to make the big league club, three months after he was optioned to Triple-A Wichita.

"Obviously, the new Summer Camp really puts him back into the equation," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "What's happened over the last three months puts Monte back into the equation."

Ranked as the Marlins' No. 9 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Harrison has looked sharp in the first few days of Summer Camp.

On Saturday, Harrison crushed a home run in live batting practice off Caleb Smith. He also ripped a crisp line drive to center off Sandy Alcantara.

"We love Monte," Mattingly said. "Monte, the athlete. Monte, the competitor. Monte has worked really hard, and has continued to improved."

In Spring Training, Harrison impressed the big league staff with his leadership and game-changing speed. A former three-sport standout in high school, he hit .364 with six stolen bases and eight runs scored in 15 Grapefruit League games.

But Harrison wasn't in Miami's plans for the club out of Spring Training. Before rosters were frozen in late March, he was optioned to Triple-A.

Now part of Miami's 60-man player pool, Harrison has shown up once again ready to compete for a roster spot.

Whether he makes it on Opening Day, which will be either July 23 or 24 for Miami, depends on how he's performing, and where he fits into the season picture.

Few question marks left for Marlins' roster

There are questions about who will be in the outfield. Corey Dickerson projects to start primarily in left field, and Jonathan Villar could be in center or sometimes used as a designated hitter.

In right field, Harold Ramirez, Matt Joyce, Lewis Brinson and Garrett Cooper are in the mix.

Harrison can play all three outfield spots.

"I've seen it written a lot, if Monte doesn't hurt his wrist last year, we would have seen him last year," Mattingly said.

Harrison underwent right wrist surgery in 2019.

"Monte is going to continue to improve and get better," Mattingly said. "We're going to have to make a decision of what's best. What's best for the club? What's best for him? Make sure we're doing the right thing for him. But he looks good."

Alfaro eager to get going
Jorge Alfaro is healthy and ready for the season to start. That's encouraging news for Miami, considering the 27-year-old catcher missed almost all of Spring Training due to an oblique strain.

Alfaro was behind the plate in live batting practice Saturday, catching Alcantara and Smith.

"They are working hard," Alfaro said. "They made adjustments. We're going to have a lot of good pitchers this year.

"I saw Alcantara [Saturday]. He was really good. I really liked what I saw. I can't wait. I can't wait to be back on the field, and battle in all of those games."

Vincent adds relief
A newcomer to the roster is right-hander Nick Vincent, a 33-year-old veteran who is no stranger to pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre.

From 2016-18, Vincent pitched for the Mariners. Stottlemyre, in his second year with the Marlins, was in Seattle then.

Vincent logged more than 60 games each season in 2016-18.

"We built a close relationship," Vincent said on Sunday. "He likes to get to know his pitchers and how you're feeling on a daily basis."

Vincent set career highs in appearances (69) and innings (64 2/3) in 2017.

"Things I've learned from him are, being ready every day," Vincent said. "Keeping your body in the right form to be able to get the ball as many times as you can. If you need a day, don't be afraid to ask for a day off.

"From him, it was learning how to pitch every day in the big leagues. I learned a lot from him."

Worth noting
Prospects Jesús Sánchez and Lewin Díaz worked out with the Major League club in Miami. Sánchez, an outfielder, is ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 4 prospect, and Díaz, a first baseman, is No. 7.

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