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Trim Alfaro could be even faster this season

@JoeFrisaro
February 13, 2020

JUPITER, Fla. -- Running fast wasn’t necessarily an issue for Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro last season. This season, the 26-year-old could be even faster. By eating healthy, working at his father’s farm in Colombia and running track and field, Alfaro says he dropped about 15 pounds from a year ago,

JUPITER, Fla. -- Running fast wasn’t necessarily an issue for Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro last season. This season, the 26-year-old could be even faster.

By eating healthy, working at his father’s farm in Colombia and running track and field, Alfaro says he dropped about 15 pounds from a year ago, when he was listed at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds.

“I gained some more muscle and I lost a lot of body fat,” Alfaro said. “I lost, I’d say, like 15 pounds. I did it just to get ready for this season, to be healthy and prepare to play as many games as I can play this year.”

Even before dropping weight, Alfaro could run. According to Statcast, his sprint speed was 28.8 feet per second, which paced MLB catchers in 2019. J.T. Realmuto of the Phillies, who was traded for Alfaro before the '19 season, was second at 28.7 feet per second. The MLB average for all positions is 27 feet per second.

“I was working in the morning and in the afternoon,” Alfaro said. “Literally like the whole day I’d work on my body. I did some track and field and working out at the gym.”

On his father’s 20-plus-acre farm, Alfaro worked in the fields, pulling yuca and restraining cows when they were being vaccinated.

Nicknamed “El Oso” (The Bear, in Spanish), Alfaro conditioned his body to catch as many games as possible, while also taking pressure off his knees.

“I knew I could work all offseason on my hitting and my defense,” Alfaro said. “But I knew that I had to be ready to compete, my body had to be ready to go every day.

“I knew I had to take some weight off my knees, and that will help me save my legs.”

Alfaro played in 130 games last year, hitting .262 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs.

On Thursday, Alfaro moved swiftly in baserunning drills, going from home to second base.

“I feel lighter now,” Alfaro said. “I have more control of my body, running.

“The way I think of it, if I’m heavy, it’s going to be bad for my knees. I’m just trying to save my legs. Losing some weight, and being ready to play every day behind the plate.”

That’s Cervelli!
Could “That’s Amore” be no more for catcher Francisco Cervelli?

Asked what his walkup song will be this year, the veteran said he was thinking about scrapping his longstanding Dean Martin classic.

“I think I’m going to electronic music now,” Cervelli said.

Why?

“Miami,” Cervelli said. “I used to have, 'That’s Amore.' Now that I’m in Miami, we need action.”

For those who will be disappointed if “That’s Amore” isn’t played, Cervelli said he may mix it in every so often.

Cervelli has come into camp making it clear he will accept any role the organization has for him, but he notes he wants to play.

“In my mind, I always know what I want,” Cervelli said. “Let’s play hard.”

Asked if he was the backup catcher, Cervelli said: “That word is not on my back. I only have Cervelli on the back, that’s it.”

Cervelli and Alfaro already are developing a strong friendship, and both understand that there is competition behind the plate.

“It’s nice to have him here,” Alfaro said. “I know he’s a guy with a lot of experience he has in the big leagues. I’m just excited to learn from all the experience that he has.”

Up next
Practice on Friday is at the same time as Thursday, with stretching beginning at about 9:30 a.m. ET at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex. Workouts are open to the public.

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