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Rupp to continue to get regular playing time

Prospect Alfaro won't catch Nola, Eickhoff
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

SAN FRANCISCO -- It should be no surprise that Cameron Rupp caught Aaron Nola on Thursday night at AT&T Park.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he plans to have Rupp catch Nola and Jerad Eickhoff exclusively, at least until Andrew Knapp returns from the 10-day disabled list sometime next month. Rookie Jorge Alfaro will be an option to catch the team's other three starters, although Rupp will be in the mix there, too.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- It should be no surprise that Cameron Rupp caught Aaron Nola on Thursday night at AT&T Park.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said he plans to have Rupp catch Nola and Jerad Eickhoff exclusively, at least until Andrew Knapp returns from the 10-day disabled list sometime next month. Rookie Jorge Alfaro will be an option to catch the team's other three starters, although Rupp will be in the mix there, too.

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"I want Rupp catching Nola and Eickhoff," Mackanin said. "They work well together."

There has been increasing interest in the Phillies' catching rotation since Alfaro joined the team Aug. 4. Alfaro is the No. 69 prospect in baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com, and he is likely to be on the team's Opening Day roster next season because he is out of options.

But Alfaro has started just four of 13 games since he joined the team, although three starts have come in the past seven games. He has hit .375 (6-for-16) with one home run, two RBIs and five strikeouts in those four games. He hit .241 with seven homers, 43 RBIs, 16 walks, 113 strikeouts and a .649 OPS in 350 plate appearances with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Video: PHI@SD: Alfaro's hardest throw for a catcher in '17

Asked over the past couple of weeks how he plans to use Alfaro, Mackanin only has said he will find him playing time.

Alfaro is far from a finished product defensively. He possesses a powerful arm, but he needs to improve in other areas, including calling games and framing pitches. That is likely a factor in Rupp catching Nola, who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since June.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Jorge Alfaro, Cameron Rupp