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Jeter: Alcantara will be called up to start Friday

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- A big part of the Marlins' future is about to make the leap to the big leagues.

Sandy Alcantara, ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 2 prospect, will be promoted from Triple-A New Orleans to start against the Mets on Friday at Marlins Park.

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MIAMI -- A big part of the Marlins' future is about to make the leap to the big leagues.

Sandy Alcantara, ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 2 prospect, will be promoted from Triple-A New Orleans to start against the Mets on Friday at Marlins Park.

View Full Game Coverage

Alcantara is stepping into the rotation spot vacated when Caleb Smith was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a Grade 3 left lat strain. Smith likely will miss the rest of the season. The Marlins have made it clear when Alcantara was promoted that they wanted to give him every opportunity to stay.

Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon.

"Sandy is going to come up and pitch on Friday," Jeter told reporters before the Marlins faced the D-backs. "So we're looking forward to getting a close look at him.

Video: ARI@MIA: Jeter talks Alcantara, player development

"You want to have patience with guys, but they've been developing fairly quickly, which is fun for us to see. It's great for us as an organization. You look at the players we've acquired, whether that is via trade or the Draft in previous years. They're developing. We have a lot to be proud of."

Alcantara, 22, was one of the centerpiece players acquired from the Cardinals in the Marcell Ozuna trade in December. Alcantara does have Major League experience, making eight relief appearances with St. Louis last September. He logged 8 1/3 innings and had a 4.32 ERA in a brief big league stint.

Friday will be the 6-foot-4 right-hander's first MLB start. The organization views him as a future top-of-the-rotation staple. At New Orleans, he was 5-3 with a 3.71 ERA in 14 starts. And in 85 innings, he struck out 64 and walked 34, with a WHIP of 1.27.

Alcantara's fastball has tracked from 95-99 mph this season.

"He's got a great arm," Jeter said. "We wanted to take our time with him, and give him an opportunity to continue to develop. The one thing we've said, the best players in this organization are going to get an opportunity to play. He's obviously one of our top prospects."

Alcantara likely won't be the only touted Marlins' prospect to make his Miami debut this weekend. It's not official, but the club is leaning towards also promoting right-hander Pablo Lopez from New Orleans to make his MLB debut on Saturday against the Mets.

Lopez, a native of Venezuela, is the club's No. 20 prospect per MLB Pipeline, although he's arguably been the most successful pitcher in the Minors this season. Acquired last July from the Mariners as part of the David Phelps trade, Lopez had a 0.62 ERA at Double-A Jacksonville in 43 2/3 innings with 51 strikeouts and just eight walks.

Saturday is also Venezuelan Heritage Night at Marlins Park, which adds more appeal to Lopez making the start.

Lopez, whose fastball has been in the 93-96 mph range, was promoted a few weeks ago to New Orleans, where he has a 3.38 ERA with 15 strikeouts and four walks in 18 2/3 innings.

Dan Straily has been announced to start on Sunday, the first day he is eligible to return from his five-game suspension.

"You want to see constant progress," Jeter said of the Minor Leaguers. "You want to see them moving in the right direction. You talk about Sandy, he got some time in the Minor Leagues, in New Orleans. We've seen him progress the first few months of the season, and he deserves this opportunity."

Jeter repeated that the organization is building from the Minor League system on up. Next week, he plans on visiting some affiliates, starting off at Class A Greensboro. He will also make stops in Jacksonville, Jupiter and New Orleans.

The Marlins on Wednesday also announced D.J. Svihlik has been named director of amateur scouting, where part of his duties will be overseeing the MLB Draft. He replaces Stan Meek, who is remaining with the organization, working closely with president of baseball operations Michael Hill.

Svihlik has worked in the past with Gary Denbo, the Marlins' vice president of player development and scouting.

"He comes with a lot of experience," Jeter said of Svihlik. "I've gotten the opportunity to get to know him over the last few months. Gary has known him for quite some time. He has a lot of experience in the scouting department. We've added great people to the front-office staff here in Miami, but also player development and scouting. We look forward to a lot of successful Drafts under D.J.'s leadership."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Sandy Alcantara