The Phillies will promote catching prospect Jorge Alfaro, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). His ascension comes on the heels of today’s trade of long-time receiver Carlos Ruiz.
Though the swap this evening brought in veteran A.J. Ellis, it seems that Alfaro will at least get a brief taste of the majors. Philly has utilized Cameron Rupp as its primary backstop this year, and he certainly isn’t going anywhere after turning in a strong performance.
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Alfaro, 23, has long been considered one of the game’s top 100 prospects. He came to the Phils along with several other exciting young players in the deal that sent Cole Hamels to the Rangers last summer. Though he was set back by a serious ankle injury prior to his change of scenery, Alfaro remains an intriguing talent.
Playing at Double-A this year, Alfaro has posted a .279/.322/.444 batting line with 13 long balls over 399 trips to the plate. He is as prized for his defensive tools as he is for his promising power bat, though his overall receiving work is still catching up to his big arm. That has led to some suggestions that he could change positions, though Alfaro says he has no desire to move out from behind the dish.
For the Phillies, the move offers a chance to look at both Rupp and Alfaro. The organization features another highly-regarded catcher in Andrew Knapp, who was ahead of Alfaro at Triple-A but has slashed only .259/.324/.375 in his first 408 plate appearances at the highest level of the minors.
While it seemed at one point that Rupp was more of a placeholder for those two, the 27-year-old now looks to be an appealing future piece in his own right. He has broken out in 2016, delivering a .813 OPS and 14 long balls in 325 turns at the plate.
All said, it’s an enviable position to be in for the rebuilding Phillies, who can lean on Rupp while trying to tap into the upside of Alfaro and Knapp. One might have suspected that Ellis was included only to offset salary, but GM Matt Klentak told reporters that he was “adamant” that the veteran Ellis be included in the return in the Ruiz deal, as Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. It seems, then, that Alfaro may only fill in temporarily, though with Ellis set to hit the open market after the year he may be first in line to join Rupp in the majors next season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
AJ will stay probably, rosters are opening up in like 5 days
If AJ Ellis was going to stay in LA he wouldnt have been included in the trade..
Phils GM Klentak being adamant about including AJ Ellis in the trade doesnt fly with me. Ellis simply is not a fit with the Phils. More likely Klentak doing LA a favor by saying that, helping deflect some heat off losing a long time fan and team favorite AJ Ellis.
Maybe he wanted a catcher who is actually good at receiving
For 4 weeks? AJ Ellis cant help the Phillies.. They have just about shut it down . Their rotation is almost all rookies who are either on the DL or will be shut down due to inning limits. He has no one to catch.
Maybe his thought is because vet backstops are good for young pitchers? I don’t know, pure speculation.
Well played, Klentak. Will be interesting to see which catcher ultimately starts and how many of the others are good enough to start elsewhere.
Alfaros AA numbers are not bad 13 HR 60 RBI but keep in mind he plays at Reading which is a launching pad. To put into context One of Alfaros teammates (RF) Dylan Cozens has 37 HR 114 RBI.. Granted Alfaro missed 20-25 games this season injuries.
Reading 1B Rhys Hoskins 35 HR 107 RBI
It is a mistake for the Phillies to bring Alfaro up at this time. Reading is going to make the playoffs. He will benefit more from learning how to win in the minors & potentially winning a championship than he will playing meaningless games in September. Let him in AA. Allow him to get a taste of the post-season. There is no need to rush him up at this point in the season. Rupp has played well for the Phillies. He can handle the bulk of the catching & Ellis can back up. This is an unnecessary move for the Phillies at this time. I would get it if Rupp was hurt, but he’s not.
You CAN’T be serious, right?? You’re comparing AA playoffs to playing in the ML’s? So, a guy playing in the ML’s for the 1st is gonna be affected by not being in contention, so he won’t compete as hard as playing in AA playoffs? I think I’ve pretty heard it all now!
Why not though, he has a valid point and being part of the Reading squad all year and making a championship push with his teammates could resonate with him, helping him as he moves on to the show.
Who would want to stay In AA just to to get a “winning” experience? He needs to learn in the ML’s if he’s ready. Winning a AA championship means nothing in the ML’s
I believe that they are bringing him up for the next 2-3 days until Ellis reports. As it is dangerous to have only one catcher on the active roster. And Alfaro was the only other catcher (other than Rupp) on the 40 man roster
That makes sense to me. I was wondering which guys are on the 40.
I know Philly has a bunch of guys they need to call up or risk losing in the rule 5 draft next year.
Alfaro comes up for 2 games. Ellis shows up, Jorge returns for the playoffs. Then returns for final 2 weeks.
He is still going to probably stay. Every team will have 3 catchers in September. Unless they want to try and sneak a guy through waivers on Sept 1, ,when every team is shuffling their 40 man. They could then DFA someone and put Knapp on the 40 man.
I think they should have brought up Knapp- they had to add him to the 40-man anyway for Rule V and he is further ahead of Alfaro. He could go down once Ellis is here and then back up 09/01. I just don’t want to rush Alfaro, as Knapp seems like a first baseman in the future and he is closer to ready than Alfaro IMO