Alfaro OK after foul tip, out Saturday

June 2nd, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- Catchers are a different breed. Most of us, if hit by an object traveling faster than 80 mph, would avoid that object forever.

Not catchers.

One day after taking a foul tip off the mask and suffering a sore jaw that caused him to leave the Marlins’ Friday game against the Padres, starting catcher lobbied to stay in the lineup Saturday night at Petco Park.

“He came in wanting to play,” manager Don Mattingly said.

Mattingly and the Marlins’ medical staff outvoted Alfaro, so got the nod behind the plate.

Still, it was good news that Alfaro avoided concussion protocol and felt he was ready to go. Mattingly said Alfaro would have gotten a rest day in the series finale on Sunday under normal circumstances, so it made sense to rest him on Saturday instead after the jolt on a foul tip off the bat of Ian Kinsler on an 82-mph curveball.

“I’d rather not have him take another foul ball today,” Mattingly said. “We might be in trouble.”

That’s not a knock on Holaday. Rather, there’s no sense in risking more serious injury for Alfaro with catcher Chad Wallach already sidelined after a concussion.

In his eighth Major League season and his second with the Marlins, Holaday returned to the big leagues on May 24 after batting .247 at Triple-A New Orleans. After three games without a hit, he got on the board in a big way on Saturday night, launching a two-run home run in Miami's 9-3 triumph over San Diego.

“Holaday is solid. We know what we’re going to get,” Mattingly said. “He was here all last year. He’s a guy who’s going to call a good game. He’s going to be out there for the pitchers -- hopefully, contribute offensively. But more than anything, we know he’s going to be solid behind the plate defensively.”

Family reunion

The trip to San Diego allowed Mattingly to spend a bit of time this weekend with his son Preston, who works in the Padres’ scouting department.

“He’s here for the Draft,” the manager said. “I’ve crossed paths with him quite a bit. It’s good to see him.”

Preston Mattingly played six Minor League seasons in the Dodgers’ organization and then played college basketball after his baseball playing career ended in 2011. Back in baseball, he’s in his third year with the Padres’ front office.