Sixto, Guzman unlikely to receive callups

Flamethrowing prospects have already exceeded innings thresholds

August 29th, 2019

MIAMI -- Hard-throwing Sixto Sanchez's first season in the Marlins’ organization is winding down, and the 21-year-old right-hander has lived up to expectations.

Sanchez, Miami's top-ranked prospect (24th on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list), has been a standout in Double-A Jacksonville's rotation, going 8-4 with a 2.53 ERA in 18 starts.

Counting two starts with Class A Advanced Jupiter, Sanchez has thrown 114 total innings, plus two-thirds of a frame at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in July.

After logging 46 2/3 innings a year ago at Class A Advanced Clearwater in the Phillies’ system, Sanchez is not expected to be pushed much further.

So when rosters expand on Sunday for all Major League clubs, the Marlins are not likely to promote Sanchez.

“Just to see what our development people have done with Sixto Sanchez, from where he was, and to clean up his delivery,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said, “just allowing him to double his career innings this year, it’s a tremendous credit to our guys in development, and what they’ve been able to do."

Jorge Guzman is another hard-throwing right-hander with the Jumbo Shrimp. He’s in a similar situation in terms of being at an innings threshold.

The 23-year-old Guzman has 138 2/3 innings in 25 games (24 starts), with a 7-11 record and 3.50 ERA. In August, he has made great strides, going 3-1 with a 1.20 ERA.

Miami's No. 17 prospect logged 96 innings a year ago.

“I think the thing you battle with all of these guys is they are at their career innings [maximums],” Hill said. “We’re not going to do anything counterproductive to their overall future success in the game.”

Jacksonville also is two games out of a Southern League playoff spot with five games to go, so Sanchez and Guzman could stick with the Jumbo Shrimp if they reach the postseason. Hill and chief executive officer Derek Jeter recently spent time with the Double-A club.

The Marlins acquired Sanchez from the Phillies in the J.T. Realmuto trade in February.

Guzman is in his second season with the organization after being acquired as part of the Giancarlo Stanton deal with the Yankees in December 2017.

“Jorge Guzman, and the growth that he’s shown from when we acquired him in the fall of ’17 straight out of Short-Season A, to two years later to have him really, really making tremendous stride with his growth and development,” Hill said. “He’s showing that he’s a legitimate Major League starter in the near future.

“We’re mindful of that with Jorge. We’re mindful of that with Sixto. I think that will impact our decisions as we look to the September callups.”

The Marlins don’t anticipate many callups, partly because several players are close to being reinstated when rosters expand. Shortstop (right hamstring strain) is wrapping up a rehab assignment stint with Triple-A New Orleans, as is right-hander (herniated disc).

“We have so many guys on the IL that are close to coming back,” Hill said. “They’re going to be great reinforcements to the team.”

Impact Week concludes

Thursday marked the final day of Impact Week, as the Marlins' organization headed north to Palm Beach County. The seventh and final event saw Miami's Minor Leaguers get involved, as more than a dozen prospects hosted a youth baseball and softball instructional clinic for members of the Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County and Martin County at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter. The clinic was divided into skills and mentoring stations to allow for participants to learn how to be a professional athlete on and off the field.

The Marlins Foundation’s new initiative was successful in reaching different parts of South Florida, with events in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. During Impact Week, the organization focused on making a difference in South Florida’s youth in three key focus areas: wellness, empowerment and youth baseball and softball.