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Eliezer Alfonzo replaced by Matt Wallach in Dodgers' camp

February 21, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez
  • File photo of Eliezer Alfonzo from his time with the Giants.
File photo of Eliezer Alfonzo from his time with the Giants. (John G. Mabanglo / European…)

PHOENIX -- Non-roster catcher Eliezer Alfonzo won’t be in the Dodgers’ major-league camp this spring, as he remains in his native Venezuela infected with dengue virus.

Alfonzo, who is on a minor league contract, was given permission to report late to camp so he could tend to a family matter. While in Venezuela, he contracted the virus.

If or when Alfonzo reports to the Dodgers’ spring-training complex, he will be in the minor-league camp.

Alfonzo’s place in the major-league camp will be taken by catcher Matt Wallach, son of third base coach Tim Wallach.

Matt Wallach, 27, batted .232, with four home runs and 17 runs batted in, in 59 games at double-A Chattanooga last season. He split time with Gorman Erickson.

The 34-year-old Alfonzo is one of only two players to be suspended twice for violating baseball’s drug policy. (The other is Manny Ramirez.)

Alfonzo was first suspended in 2008, when he played for the San Francisco Giants.

He was hit with a 100-game ban in 2011, when he was with the Colorado Rockies. He served the first 48 games of the suspension, after which he successfully overturned it. Like Ryan Braun, Alfonzo raised issues about how his urine samples were handled.

Alfonzo has played in 193 games over six seasons with four teams. He is a career .240 hitter with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs.

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