Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Sixto set to join Jumbo Shrimp

Marlins' top prospect scheduled to make Double-A debut in May
@JoeFrisaro
April 14, 2019

MIAMI -- Before making his Double-A debut, the Marlins intend to have top prospect Sixto Sanchez throw one more bullpen session. By reworking his schedule, the right-hander is now tentatively set to join the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp rotation and start on May 2 at Mississippi. Initially, Sanchez was lined up

MIAMI -- Before making his Double-A debut, the Marlins intend to have top prospect Sixto Sanchez throw one more bullpen session. By reworking his schedule, the right-hander is now tentatively set to join the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp rotation and start on May 2 at Mississippi.

Initially, Sanchez was lined up to join Jacksonville’s rotation on April 26. The 20-year-old will see game action this week, pitching in an extended spring game at Miami’s Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.

Physically, Sanchez is fine. The Marlins are managing their No. 1 prospect’s throwing progression, as well as his innings for the season.

The Marlins acquired Sanchez from the Phillies in early February as part of the J.T. Realmuto trade. Also in the deal were catcher Jorge Alfaro, left-handed pitching prospect Will Stewart and Miami received $250,000 in international bonus money.

Sanchez is ranked 27th on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list, while Stewart is Miami's No. 21 prospect.

The Marlins are being especially cautious with Sanchez, who possesses a fastball that regularly reaches 100 mph.

At Class A Advanced Clearwater in 2018, Sanchez made eight starts, but he was shut down last June due to right elbow inflammation. The Phillies planned on having Sanchez go to the Arizona Fall League, but that was scratched due to a left collarbone issue.

Sanchez, who threw 46 2/3 innings in 2018, finished with 45 strikeouts and 11 walks.

Because of the missed time last season, the Marlins are having Sanchez build up at their Minor League complex.

Sanchez projects as a top of the rotation talent.

The Marlins already are seeing return from the Realmuto trade. Alfaro is off to a hot start as Miami’s regular catcher. Stewart, 21, is part of the Class A Advanced Jupiter rotation. In his last start, the left-hander allowed one hit in 7 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts in a win over Lakeland.

Worth noting

Alfaro tweaked his upper body while sliding into second base in Saturday’s 10-3 victory. As a precaution, Alfaro was replaced late in the game by Chad Wallach. Alfaro was not in the starting lineup on Sunday in the series finale, but that decision was made beforehand.

“It was on the slide, he hit the ground and felt something up in the chest area,” manager Don Mattingly said.

Alfaro dealt with a right knee bruise in Spring Training, but that wasn’t an issue with the slide on Saturday. Mattingly added Alfaro is expected back in the starting lineup on Monday in the series opener against the Cubs at Marlins Park.

“He’s available [Sunday],” Mattingly said. “We wanted to be cautious last night, knowing today was going to be an off-day. I expect to him to be back [Monday]."

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