Miami Marlins Cy Young needs help

Sandy Alcantara
Sandy Alcantara / Eric Espada/GettyImages

The Miami Marlins just swept the Oakland Athletics! The Fish are doing better than a lot of people expected, currently in second place in the NL East with a 32-28 record. If someone told you this before the season, you'd be sure that Sandy Alcantara was having another great season. I wrote about Sandy's issues earlier this season, but things just don't seem to be getting better. Where do things stand now?

Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara needs help.

We recently did an in-depth article about Sandy Alcantara, so this isn't about his mechanical issues as much as it is about what can actually be done to help him. Last season Sandy won the NL Cy Young award, after pitching 228.2 innings of 2.28 ERA/2.99 FIP ball. He had 8.1 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9. This season in 76.1 innings, he has a 5.07 ERA/3.65 FIP with 7.9 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9. It's obvious that he's better than he's been pitching, the FIP is pretty clear on that.

Bad luck has been following Sandy Alcantara all season. Just yesterday against Oakland, he had a 7.20 ERA/0.89 FIP/1.52 xFIP in the game. What's going on? It's not the home runs, he has a 7.9% HR/FB rate this season. He had an 8.5% HR/FB rate last season. He does have a 4.21 xFIP, implying that he's giving up TOO FEW home runs. Sandy's fastball velocity is fine too... it's at 98.1 mph (he had 98.0 last season).

I can try as hard as possible, but it just doesn't look as if he's significantly different from last season. It seems that bad luck is the biggest reason for his problems. There may be a sadder realization too... perhaps he was also lucky last season as well. In 2022 Sandy did have a 2.28 ERA, but his 2.99 FIP, 3.29 xFIP and 2.92 xERA told a different story. Sandy's 3.65 FIP this season is not that far off...

So what can the Miami Marlins do about this? How can The Fish help Sandy Alcantara? The only answer I can give is... well patience. It's not an answer that anyone wants to hear, but he doesn't seem to have any mechanical issues to really fix. Just take a look at this.

The only change that I can see is that he's giving up a .309 BA in 2023 (.246 xBA). He gave up a .145 BA (.169 xBA) in 2022, but even then he's putting away 22.2% of hitters with it. That's compared to 26.8% with it last season. His fastball (20.3% in 2022 and 21.2% in 2023), and his sinker (15.8% in 2022 and 17.4% in 2023) are putting away more batters this season....

The Miami Marlins need to support Sandy and make sure that he's as comfortable as possible. Patience is not an appealing answer, but as they say "patience is a virtue". The Cy Young (or close to it) Sandy Alcantara may still show up this season.

Next. It's time to extend this key hitter.... dark