By Jack Ryan
Jorge Alfaro, the Phillies’ No. 4 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, was called up yesterday before the game against the Mets.
The 23-year-old from Colombia had made it.
“It feels like a dream, like a dream right now,” Alfaro said. “When I was young, when I was a kid, this was like a big dream, you know? Where I come from, there’s not a lot of baseball.”
The callup came on the heels of the Phillies dealing fan-favorite catcher Carlos Ruiz to the Dodgers in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, Class A right-hander Tommy Bergjans and a player to be named later.
“Ultimately, this was about doing the right thing for Carlos Ruiz, because he has meant so much to this organization,” Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said about the trade.
Ruiz’s importance to the franchise isn’t lost on Alfaro, who said he felt a “little sad,” that “Chooch” was gone.
But he wasn’t going to let that dim the excitement that his promotion brought. His parents, Jorge and Consuela, were visiting from Colombia and met him outside the clubhouse in Reading after he learned the news.
“I was almost crying,” he said.
Ellis is expected to join the team Saturday, at which point Alfaro will probably be sent back down to Reading. He was the only other catcher on the 40-man roster, and in 403 plate appearances with Reading this season, he’s hit .279 with 18 doubles, two triples, 13 home runs and 61 RBIs.
He’ll likely have the opportunity to add to those numbers in the near future. That wasn’t on his mind Friday, though. Friday — Aug. 26 — will be remembered as the day he first got to live his dream.
“When I walked in through those doors earlier today, I felt like God gave me a blessing,” Alfaro said.