As the Miami Marlins and the rest of Major League Baseball takes a break for the All-Star Game festivities, we look at the team’s rotation and other news.
The next time the Miami Marlins take the field, they will face the New York Mets on July 12 at home. While it has already been announced that Jason Vargas will take the mound for the visitors, the starting pitcher for Miami remains up in the air.
The Marlins will determine which pitchers will fill its rotation over the next few days. But because of what we saw on Sunday afternoon, both the rotation and the bullpen could have a new look.
Caleb Smith returned on Saturday, earning a victory in his first start back from the I.L. and a stint at Double-A Jacksonville. He jumps back into the rotation while it appears Elieser Hernandez will be moved back to the bullpen.
Hernandez pitched an inning on Sunday, replacing Trevor Richards who suffered his 10th loss of the season in a 4-3 game against Atlanta.
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The return of Smith means 60 percent of the starting rotation from Week 1 of the MLB season returns intact with both Zac Gallen and Jordan Yamamoto part of the big five, along with Richards and Sandy Alcantara. There is no word yet when the team will bring Pablo Lopez back from a shoulder strain. He has begun a throwing program as part of his rehabilitation.
In other news: The Marlins had two of their finest prospects on hand as part of the 2019 MLB Futures Game in Cleveland, Ohio. Pitcher Sixto Sanchez, Miami’s number 1 rated prospect and second baseman Isan Diaz, who is currently ranked sixth in the Marlins minor league system, left a lasting impression.
According to Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald, Sanchez wowed onlookers with his fastball.
"“Sanchez threw 13 pitches, seven of which went for strikes. His four-seam fastball velocity ranged from 98.1 mph to 100.2 mph. Five of the eight fastballs clocked in at 99.6 mph or faster,” he wrote.“His slider stayed steadily in the mid-to-high 80s.”"
Sanchez was the major piece of the puzzle that was included in the deal that sent catcher J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia this offseason.
Diaz has swung one of the most potent bats in the Marlins minor leagues this year. But it was his defense that caught everyone’s attention on Sunday night.
"“Diaz started at second base for the NL and made a pair of stellar defensive plays in the fourth inning.” McPherson added. “The Marlins’ No. 6 prospect according to MLBPipeline tagged out Wander Franco attempting to steal second base for the first out of the inning. Two pitches later, Diaz proceeded to range to his right on a Nick Mandigral chopper, spin around and make the throw to first base for the second out.”"