Marlins prospect Sánchez debuts: 'I'm ready'

August 21st, 2020

The Marlins made a slew of roster moves prior to Friday night’s series opener against the Nationals. The club recalled outfielder from the alternate training site and reinstated left-hander and catcher from the injured list. Miami also optioned outfielder to the alternate training site, designated catcher for assignment and placed infielder on the paternity list.

Sánchez, the fifth-best prospect in the Marlins' system, according to MLB Pipeline, made his Major League debut against Washington on Friday, hitting eighth and playing right field. Manager Don Mattingly loves Sánchez’s power and said he was swinging the bat as well as anyone at the alternate training site.

“There are a lot of positives with Jesús,” Mattingly said. "Tool-wise, he is a big, physical kid with power. Being left-handed helps him. He throws well. He is tooled up. Then you get past that -- he has a great demeanor. He has a smile on his face. He is energetic. He is a kid that listens. He is smart. You feel he is a guy that is going to continue to learn and continue to get better.”

Sánchez feels that he is ready to be in the Major Leagues and vows to give everything that he has.

“I spoke to [teammate Jesús Aguilar],” Sánchez said. “He told me to get loose, get ready. It’s the same game that we always play. I’m ready.”

Friday’s game was the first of the season for Alfaro, who missed time after testing positive for COVID-19. Alfaro, slotted in as the designated hitter on Friday, will split time with catcher Francisco Cervelli. Alfaro singled in his first at-bat on Friday and is expected to be behind the plate during the Marlins’ doubleheader against the Nationals on Saturday.

“We are getting closer to our team,” Mattingly said. “We are able to DH Alfaro, get his bat in the lineup. I look at the catching as a team.”

Bleier, who arrived from the Orioles in an Aug. 1 trade for a player to be named, returns to the bullpen after missing a couple of weeks with a left triceps strain. He will be one of the setup men out of the bullpen.

Of all the players taken off the roster, Harrison may have the highest ceiling, but he had a .133 batting average and 18 strikeouts in his first 30 big league at-bats. He is considered the club’s No. 10 prospect.

“Monte has to make adjustments with his swing. There nothing you don’t like about Monte,” Mattingly said. “He has some work he needs to get done. I have no doubt that Monte is going to get that done; I feel as confident in Monte as much as anything. He will go to work. He has a plan. When Monte gets it, he is going to be another animal. There is nothing this guy can’t do on the field, but we have to get the swing lined out.”