Notes: Updates on pitchers; trailblazers meet

April 16th, 2021

MIAMI -- A quartet of Marlins right-handers, including a pair of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects, continue to progress without issue in their throwing programs.

Sixto Sánchez (No. 13 overall), who was projected to make the Opening Day starting rotation before a late start to spring due to visa issues and a false COVID-19 positive test, is working back from right shoulder inflammation. He is throwing at 45 feet.

Edward Cabrera (No. 60) arrived to Spring Training with an inflamed nerve in his right biceps that the club was aware of beforehand. He is throwing at 75 feet. The 23-year-old Cabrera will start his season when ready in the Triple-A rotation. Had it not been for a setback in 2020, he likely would've already debuted.

"I know it's been like a steady improvement and keep seeing him doing more," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Cabrera during a Zoom call. "I think he's a guy that has kind of gotten past the stuff that was going on this winter, slowly been built to getting through this thing during the spring. I think he started playing catch maybe late in camp. And nothing has went backwards from there for him, so I'm thinking he is still on a steady kind of path towards his season."

Elieser Hernandez, Miami's No. 3 starter to open the season, is throwing at 60 feet. He had exited his season debut on April 3 with right biceps inflammation.

Jorge Guzman (Miami's No. 30 prospect) is throwing bullpens and should progress to facing hitters next. He had experienced right elbow inflammation in the spring. The 25-year-old Guzman made his MLB debut in 2020, appearing in relief once after 25 games (24 starts) at the Double-A level in '19.

All four players are rehabbing in Jupiter, Fla., where Minor League camp is taking place. The Minors season will begin on May 4. Meanwhile, the alternate training site is in Jacksonville, Fla.

Latest on Alfaro
After missing four games because of a tight left hamstring, Jorge Alfaro was tested on Wednesday when he sent a ball off the right-center wall in Atlanta. He was thrown out sliding into second, as the call stood on a replay review.

According to Statcast, his sprint speed was 27.8 ft/sec on the play. Alfaro, who routinely ranks first or second in sprint speed among Major League catchers, has dropped to sixth at 26.8 ft/sec from his 2020 average of 28 ft/sec in a small six-game sample. League average regardless of defensive position is 27 ft/sec.

"I think there's no question he was being cautious," Mattingly said. "But we did see within that hit once he passed first that he asked for another gear, and it didn't hurt him, so that's a good thing for us to feel like the hamstring seemed like it held up or that time off has been beneficial. We've talked about staying under control, because if you guys have watched him enough, it's always full out to first base and things like that. So, we're asking him to stay under control, with the understanding that it's probably rendered him 80 percent. We did see the good gear that he tried to turn on from first to second on that play."

Honoring a legend twice
The Marlins got the chance to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day for the second consecutive game, because the Giants didn't play on Thursday. Both teams wore jerseys with the late Hall of Famer's No. 42.

"I think it's not just 42 but what that represents is huge in the game, breaking through that," Mattingly said. "It's important that we recognize it, and obviously in today's times, becomes more and more visible within our game. I think it's important that we continue to recognize not only him, and obviously what he had to go through, but really what that represented within the game and for so many players of color."

Trailblazers meet
Marlins general manager Kim Ng and Giants assistant coach Alyssa Nakken met during batting practice ahead of Friday's series opener at loanDepot park. Ng became the first woman to be an MLB GM in November, while Nakken was the first woman to hold a coaching position on a big league staff when San Francisco hired her in January 2020.