Prior to their game on Tuesday night, the Miami Marlins got the news that rookie Sandy Alcantara had begun throwing again for the first time since placed on the disabled list after his first and only start on the Major League level.
It’s the kind of news the team can celebrate as their starting rotation has suffered through a myriad of injuries in the first half of the 2018 season. Alcantara, who was called up to the main roster from Triple-A New Orleans on June 29, has won the only game he has pitched in as a member of the parent team.
Alcantara was impressive in Spring Training but did not make the 25-man roster to start the season. The organization wanted the 22-year-old to continue to work on his control in Miami’s farm system. Both he and Pablo Lopez were brought up at the same time, with Lopez winning his first start as a professional as well.
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"“He started his throwing program today [Tuesday],” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said via Goodman’s story. “It was the first day they allowed him to start throwing. So, this is the first day of his progression, and we’ll get him moving toward getting back on the mound.”"
The addition of Alcantara to the rotation, with Lopez, Dan Straily, Jose Urena and Wei-Yin Chen could mean more stability in the second half of 2018. The Marlins lost their most consistent pitcher Caleb Smith to a Grade 3 lat strain that required surgery. Smith will be lost for the remainder of the season.
The team also has Trevor Richards, another starter, it can use in the rotation. The goal is to make sure the hard-throwing Alcantara returns to the rotation healthy and ready for the second half of the season.
The Marlins obtained Alcantara as the centerpiece of the deal the team made with the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Marcell Ozuna. Both he and Lopez are viewed as potential front-line starters in Miami’s rotation for years to come.
When Alcantara was placed on the Disabled List on July 1, the team reinstated Urena from injury. He originally signed with the Cardinals as an international free agent in 2013. When he was traded to the Marlins, he was part of a five-player that sent Ozuna to St. Louis.