Jorge Alfaro will start Friday for the Phillies after spending most of his first week in the majors this season as a reserve.
The prospect has caught just one of the team's six games since being promoted after Andrew Knapp broke his right hand when he was hit by a pitch. Alfaro will likely begin next year in the majors because this is the final season he can be optioned to the minor leagues. Friday's game against the Mets appeared to be a good chance to get a look at him, which made it strange when he was so seldom used over his first week.
"I'm going to get him playing time," manager Pete Mackanin said Thursday. "I'm going to get him in there as much as I can. I want to get a good look at him. I think it's important to see him."
Alfaro, 24, batted just .241 with a .649 OPS in 324 at-bats this season at triple A. There are concerns about his game calling, which is likely why Mackanin has seemed hesitant to play him. He has an electric arm and the Phillies worked with him this season on his defensive work.
"Alfaro is here because he's a talented catcher. He's spent two-thirds of this season in triple A continuing to get better at the things he needs to get better at," general manager Matt Klentak said. "As with [Rhys] Hoskins, the opportunity presented itself. We had an injury and we needed a catcher. As an organization, we're big fans of Jorge Alfaro. His work ethic. His leadership. Is he a finished product? No. But most players that come to the big leagues for the first time are not. So we're happy to have him here and expose him to the big leagues for the foreseeable future. We'll see what kind of strides he can make up here."
Cameron Rupp started behind the plate Thursday and has started five of the team's six games since Knapp's injury. Knapp was beginning to receive most of the playing time, starting four straight games before being injured. Knapp will be out until September, but Klentak is confident that he will return this season.
"We'll just have to see how he feels," Klentak said. "He's in a soft splint. That should come off in two weeks and we'll see where he goes from there."