Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara has an injured UCL, but has been talking about still pitching this season. Sandy is of course the 2022 National League Cy Young award winner. He hasn't been as good this year, and it's possible that his UCL injury contributed to those results. He's apparently serious about returning this season, and now we have even more news on that subject.
Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara is attempting a comeback this season.
Sandy Alcantara won the National League Cy Young award last season. He did it by delivering an otherworldly 2.28 ERA/2.99 FIP, with 8.1 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9. He did it in 28 games and 184.2 innings pitched. Sandy was worth 7.8 WAR for this historically good performance.
It's definitely a shame, that things haven't gone as well on Sandy's Beach in 2023. Sandy currently has a 4.14 ERA/4.03 FIP, with 7.4 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 28 games and 184.2 innings pitched. The ace has been worth 3.1 WAR this season. He just hasn't pitched at this level this season. As I said earlier, shutting him down for the rest of the season to rest may make sense. That said, if he's definitely able to pitch without worsening his condition then I'm all for it.
Sandy Alcantara will be pitching a rehab start for AAA Jacksonville tonight. I'm concerned about this. Is this a good idea? Might not it be better to just let him rest? We can look at some other starting pitchers who attempted to come back from UCL injuries without getting TJS. Masahiro Tanaka is one such case. He suffered a UCL tear in 2014, and then pitched to a 3.88 ERA/4.03 FIP for the rest of his career in the Major Leagues.
Another case is Philadelphia Phillies' Aaron Nola. He suffered his UCL injury in 2016, but proceeded to pitch without TJS. He skipped the rest of the season to rest, and then delivered a 3.65 ERA/3.37 FIP since. I should add that his career best 2018 season, where he pitched to a 2.37 ERA/3.01 FIP happened after he rehabbed his UCL. Unlike Sandy, he did miss the rest of the season however. Time will tell what will happen on "Sandy's Beach".