The latest on some player health situations from Spring Training…
- Jorge Alfaro was a scratch from the Marlins’ lineup today due to left oblique tightness (Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald was among those to report the news). Alfaro is day-to-day, though obviously any type of oblique issue is a concern, given how such injuries have been known to keep players out for weeks at a time depending on the severity. On the plus side, Alfaro isn’t being sent for an MRI, according to reporter Craig Mish (via Twitter). After a 2019 that saw Alfaro hit .262/.312/.425 with 18 homers over 465 PA while posting some subpar blocking and framing numbers, Alfaro is still considered to be Miami’s first-choice catcher heading into 2020, though the club did add Francisco Cervelli as a veteran complement this winter.
- Newly-acquired Nationals reliever Will Harris “tweaked his abdomen” in the wake of a bullpen session yesterday, manager Davey Martinez told MASNsports.com’s Pete Kerzel and other media. MRI results were negative, and Martinez said the team was opting “to be on the conservative side,” so it doesn’t sound as if the problem is overly serious. Harris signed a three-year, $24MM free agent deal with the Nationals this winter, going from the Astros to the team that defeated them in last fall’s World Series.
- Speaking of the Astros, Justin Verlander threw 30 pitches of a live batting practice rather than a scheduled Spring Training start against Washington today. It would have been Verlander’s first official outing of the spring, but the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner told reporters (including MLB.com’s Christina De Nicola) that he “wanted to be in a little more controlled environment” after suffering minor discomfort in his right groin earlier this week. Verlander left the simulated two-inning session feeling good, and he is still scheduled to start Houston’s game against the Cardinals on Tuesday. It is still unclear at to how this setback could impact Verlander’s usual preseason routine and his potential readiness for Opening Day, as “it all depends on where I’m at when I start in games,” the right-hander said. “If there’s a lot of stuff I need to work on, then I don’t have a lot of time to do it. But if I feel pretty good and my stuff’s working, it’s just about building my pitch count. It’s kind of a TBD.”