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Holloway maxes out at 98 mph in debut

Returning from Tommy John surgery, No. 14 prospect records four outs
@JoeFrisaro
February 28, 2019

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Game time Thursday couldn’t come fast enough for Marlins prospect Jordan Holloway. In his first big league camp, the 22-year-old right-hander was ready to take the mound the moment he woke up. Adding to the adrenaline rush was the fact his parents, Brian and Linda,

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Game time Thursday couldn’t come fast enough for Marlins prospect Jordan Holloway.

In his first big league camp, the 22-year-old right-hander was ready to take the mound the moment he woke up. Adding to the adrenaline rush was the fact his parents, Brian and Linda, came in from Colorado to be on hand at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, witnessing the Marlins' 7-5 loss to the Astros.

“This whole day, I woke up and I was ready to go at 5 in the morning,” Holloway said. “It was awesome coming back from a really long rehab stint, coming back. It feels really good.”

Considering his road to recovery from Tommy John surgery, Holloway was not in the least discouraged by his 1 1/3 relief innings. He gave up four runs, including a homer, on four hits with a walk.

Miami’s No. 14 prospect per MLB Pipeline missed 14 months due to the procedure, and he has not pitched above Class A.

“A lot of positives,” Holloway said. “Obviously, there’s some stuff I need to work on, but a lot of positives. I threw some good fastballs, curveballs, changeups in good counts.”

Holloway’s fastball topped at 98 mph, with a 95-98 range.

“I gave up a couple of hard-hit balls, but the outs I got were soft,” Holloway said. “First time out there, it feels a little rushed. I’m happy to be out there, playing and healthy.”

Holloway, who projects to open the season at Class A Advanced Jupiter, surrendered a two-run homer to the left-handed-hitting Abraham Toro on a fastball down and in that was just high enough to clear the wall in right.

“We talk about all these things in Spring Training, sequencing, hitting spots, being able to mix your pitches,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It becomes a lot more important when you see the better hitters.”

Alfaro, Prado, Grandy set for Saturday

Saturday will mark a week since catcher Jorge Alfaro crashed into a dugout railing and bruised his right knee. It also is the target date he is expected back in the lineup.

“He’s doing more catching drills [Thursday],” Mattingly said. “I have him in there Saturday.”

Alfaro was banged up after running into a dugout railing while pursuing a foul ball in the fourth inning against St. Louis last Saturday in the Spring Training opener. He has been receiving treatment and doing various drills this week.

Veterans Martín Prado and Curtis Granderson are also projected to see their first Grapefruit League action on Saturday against the Cardinals. Prado and Granderson have been easing into game shape, and they’ve seen live pitching in simulated games.

“It’s what I talk about a lot,” Mattingly said. “They’re back, full strength. They’re healthy. They’re ready to start the process where they’re ready to get regular at-bats, and get them ready to go.

“These guys are still getting live at-bats. They’ve been on the back fields in sim games, even when we’re on the road. So it’s not like they’re not getting in there with pitchers and full velocity. It just hadn’t been on the field yet.”

Harper reaction

News of Bryce Harper reportedly reaching a record-setting agreement on a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies broke during the Marlins-Astros game.

Harper’s deal is the highest amount in the history of the sport, topping the 13-year, $325 million contract Giancarlo Stanton, now with the Yankees, signed with the Marlins.

“We usually don’t comment on anything that’s not official,” Mattingly said postgame on Thursday.

But generally speaking, Mattingly noted the talents of Harper and Manny Machado, who earlier in Spring Training signed a 10-year, $300 million with the Padres, are signs that teams are making long-term commitments to elite players who are just reaching their prime years.

“Obviously, you wouldn’t be talking about this if Bryce wasn’t a very good player,” Mattingly said. “You see a world of talent, and you see it at an age that is really young. That’s why they’re talking about with him and Manny, [teams] are willing to go longer lengths because they’re younger.”

Injury report

Catcher Chad Wallach left Thursday’s game in the third inning due to some discomfort in his right quad. Wallach pulled up slightly after reaching on a fielder’s choice grounder in the third, beating out a potential double play.

Rodrigo Vigil replaced Wallach, who is competing with Bryan Holaday for the backup catcher spot, in the bottom of the inning.

The Marlins believe the discomfort is mild.

Up next

The Marlins host the Nationals at 1:05 p.m. ET on Friday at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Trevor Richards, who is competing for a rotation spot, gets the start for Miami. Righty Riley Ferrell and lefty Jose Quijada, both striving to win bullpen spots, are also scheduled to pitch.

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