April 2, 3:05pm: Sanchez has mild inflammation in the back of his shoulder and will rest for a few days, De Nicola tweets. The Marlins don’t have a timetable for his return, but it should be a slow process, per Mish (Twitter link).
10:50am: Sanchez will undergo an MRI, tweets Craig Mish of the Miami Herald.
April 1: Prized Marlins righty Sixto Sanchez cut his most recent throwing session short due to what the Marlins termed “slight discomfort” in his right shoulder, tweets Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald. He’ll be evaluated over the coming days as the Marlins determine a course of action. MLB.com’s Christina De Nicola adds that Sanchez had been slated to throw around five “innings” and 75 pitches in a simulated game but cut things short after just the second frame, at which point he informed the team of the discomfort.
While the decision is being tabbed as a precaution at the moment, there’s some obvious concerning when any pitcher complains of shoulder pain. Sanchez was optioned to the the Marlins alternate site earlier this week, but that decision was only made because he was behind in his throwing after being in Covid-19 protocol earlier in camp. He’d thrown just eight innings during Grapefruit League play, and the Marlins hoped to get him built back up at their alternate site, with an eye toward a mid-month debut in the rotation. The shoulder issue, however, could obviously impact that timeline.
Sanchez made his big league debut in 2020 and impressed through seven starts, pitching to a 3.46 ERA with a 20.9 percent strikeout rate, a 7.0 percent walk rate and a massive 58.0 percent ground-ball rate. He’s considered one of the 10 to 20 best prospects in all of baseball and is viewed by the Marlins as a future linchpin of the rotation. He accrued 103 days of Major League service time in 2020, so there’s no real service-related benefit for the Marlins keeping him down at this time; he’d need to be in the minors through late July in order for his path to free agency to be pushed back another year.