Marlins reassign top pitching prospects

March 11th, 2021

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins on Wednesday announced their first cuts of camp, which included MLB Pipeline's Nos. 28 and 68 prospects Max Meyer and Edward Cabrera, respectively. Neither was a surprise roster transaction.

Meyer, who was among 16 players to be reassigned, was the third overall selection in last year's MLB Draft. He, along with fellow 2020 picks Kyle Nicolas (Miami's No. 21 prospect), Zach McCambley (No. 22) and Jake Eder (No. 23), were not scheduled to pitch in a Grapefruit League game.

"This is about them getting comfortable in big league camp," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said during a Zoom call earlier this spring. "Obviously, we like those guys and we wanted them to experience this. But we don't want Max coming over to an 'A' game and trying to throw 100 [mph]. We want him to get ready to pitch this season, continue his development, and we think there's a real risk with those young guys kind of trying to impress and doing too much too early. It's a danger in camp, and that's something we're going to stay away from them."

Cabrera, who was diagnosed with an inflamed nerve in his right biceps upon his arrival to Spring Training, was optioned to Triple-A Jacksonville. A member of the 60-man player pool last season, the 22-year-old right-hander might've made his Major League debut had he not dealt with a minor arm injury. Cabrera even traveled with the Marlins for their National League Division Series against the Braves because the club had considered inserting him into the bullpen. In 2019, he reached Double-A, going 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA in eight starts.

Among the other players to be reassigned are as follows: catchers Cameron Barstad and Santiago Chávez; left-handers Will Stewart, Zach King and Dylan Lee; righties Tommy Eveld (biceps issue) and Josh Roberson; and outfielders Kameron Misner (Miami's No. 14 prospect), Connor Scott (No. 15), Peyton Burdick (No. 16), Victor Victor Mesa and Brian Miller.

"They're going to be working out in their own group," Marlins general manager Kim Ng said during a Zoom call. "We've got the group on the other fields, just getting ready for their seasons."

Guzman hurt and more
Ng also provided updates on seven pitchers still in camp who have yet to pitch in a Grapefruit League game.

Jorge Guzman, Miami's No. 26 prospect, has right elbow inflammation and will "be out for a bit," said Ng. The 25-year-old righty made his big league debut in 2020, giving up two runs in an inning of relief.

Sixto Sánchez, MLB Pipeline's No. 15 overall prospect, will throw a bullpen session on Thursday "and we'll see where he is after that," said Ng. The 22-year-old right-hander, who was delayed by visa issues and then by a false COVID-19 positive result, could still make the Opening Day rotation.

• Offseason acquisition Dylan Floro, whom the club hopes will work in high-leverage situations out of the bullpen, threw 20 pitches during batting practice on Wednesday. He had been dealing with arm soreness.

• Veteran Gio González, who signed a Minor League deal with the hometown team last Thursday, threw batting practice on Tuesday.

"We want to see where these guys come out afterwards and see how they're doing before we plot everything out in stone," Ng said.

• Rule 5 Draft pick Zach Pop pitched a scoreless eighth in his Marlins debut Wednesday night.

Paul Campbell, another Rule 5 Draft selection who also ranks as the organization's 25th-best prospect, has been dealing with a personal issue.

Jordan Holloway (No. 27 prospect) has been throwing bullpen sessions.

Rogers' analysis

Rotation candidate Trevor Rogers collected five of his six outs via the K in his second spring start in Wednesday night's 4-4 tie with the Astros at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. During a three-run second inning, the Astros put runners on the corners with no outs. Rogers fanned consecutive batters on fastballs before permitting back-to-back RBI hits.

Following a mound visit and a walk, the frame was rolled over after 26 pitches. Miami's No. 9 prospect came back out for the third and struck out Jose Altuve for the second time to cap his 48-pitch outing. Both Rogers and Mattingly said the southpaw got a little fastball-heavy toward the end of his outing.

"I was just trying to blow the doors off, get a little ahead of myself," Rogers said during a Zoom call. "[Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr.] and [catcher Jorge Alfaro] and I talked and [they] said in those types of situations, you'll learn to just beat them with soft stuff, and then come back and get them with a heater."

Coop in the outfield

Garrett Cooper made his first outfield appearance of the spring, playing four innings and catching Altuve's fly ball to right for the final out of the fourth. With no universal designated hitter, Jesús Aguilar at first base and Adam Duvall in right, Miami would like to find ways to get Cooper's bat in the lineup. He can play either of the corner-outfield spots to spell Corey Dickerson in left and Duvall in right. In his first five Grapefruit League games, Cooper started at first base three times and at DH twice.

Under the lights

Wednesday marked the first of eight night games for the Marlins in Grapefruit League play. Consider Mattingly a fan of a later first pitch.

"It's a good time for recovery," Mattingly said. "I kind of like them later. Honestly the later, the better. Because of just getting used to like more of a night schedule for the season. But I always liked them as a player. You feel refreshed when you get that little extra rest in between. So I think guys like them. Usually Spring Training lighting is not quite as good. So that part's a little bit of a negative, but in general, I like the night games."

Up next

Sandy Alcantara will make his third start of the spring at 1:05 p.m. ET on Thursday against the Nationals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.