Will Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara get to 200 innings before the end of the 2019 MLB season? Alcantara has a good shot at the milestone.
Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara is building a resume the organization hoped he would fulfill when they made the deal for the 23-year-old flame-thrower last offseason.
Alcantara has been impressive the last month of the season, throwing heat and showing more control on the mound, something manager Don Mattingly has been critical of at different points this season.
For Alcantara, this season, despite a losing record, has been one of progress and personal best. And with the season coming to an end in less than two weeks, can the “ace” of the staff hit a major milestone as a Marlins starter?
Pitching 200 innings is within reach.
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"“If Sandy Alcantara stays the course, the rookie right-hander has a chance to flirt with a benchmark no Marlins starter has reached in seven seasons,” writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.“Alcantara is sitting at 178 2/3 innings over 29 starts, and there is a chance he could toy with reaching the elusive 200 innings mark.”"
That’s a big if, should Mattingly decide to make changes to his rotation this late in the season. Alcantara was nearly automatic in his last start on the road at San Francisco, but once again, he was let down by a lack of run support.
When the season started, Alcantara, who came over from St. Louis in a deal that sent outfielder Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals, was firmly entrenched as the team’s No. 4 starter. Then things changed. Caleb Smith, the No. 5 pitcher, showed he could dominate on the mound. Trevor Richards was inconsistent. Opening Day starter Jose Urena suffered a herniated disc and was sent to the I.L. Pablo Lopez can be as dominant at times but has had a shoulder issue this season as well and spent time on the shelf.
Alcantara has been the one constant starter in the rotation, and the team’s lone All-Star representative.
For those baseball historians out there, the last Marlins starter to reach 200 innings was Mark Buehrle (202 1/3) in 2012. Nathan Eovaldi came agonizingly close at 199 2/3 innings in ’14. And in ’15, Tom Koehler reached 187 1/3 innings.
The Marlins are slated to use Alcantara in the series finale against Arizona on Wednesday. Then the watch begins to see if he can hit the big number before time runs out. Mattingly has seen progress, even in a season where it looked like Alcantara would not get to this point as a big-time pitcher for this team in 2019.
"“When you talk about Sandy, he’s probably been our guy who has taken the biggest steps forward,” Mattingly said. “He had a little stretch after the All-Star break, where he was kind of in and out. But since then, he’s probably [at] six, seven, eight starts that have been really good.”"