The Marlins have been without Sixto Sánchez for nearly three years. The one-time top prospect and headliner of the J.T. Realmuto trade has had his career thrown off track by injuries. Shoulder problems have been the main concern, as Sánchez has twice undergone shoulder surgery since July 2021.
That extended layoff has left Sánchez without a particularly clear recovery timetable. While he’d expressed some optimism at the start of the offseason he’d be ready for Spring Training, it became apparent by February a midseason return was the best-case scenario. That has seemingly been pushed back a little further, as the team informed reporters that Sánchez experienced some shoulder soreness following an extended Spring Training outing last week (via MLB.com injury tracker).
This particular issue doesn’t seem all that worrisome. Sánchez has already returned to playing catch this week, according to MLB.com. It’s nevertheless a subpar development for a pitcher who is hoping to get back into affiliated games this year. Barry Jackson and Craig Mish of the Miami Herald write the organization views August or September as a viable target date for Sánchez’s return to minor league games. It’s clear he’s not an option in the immediate future and at least raises some question about whether the 24-year-old will be able to pitch in an MLB game this season.
Given Sánchez’s repeated setbacks, it’s not surprising Jackson and Mish report that Miami no longer views him as an integral part of their long-term pitching plans. Sánchez is still young and controllable for six seasons but he’ll go almost three years between regular season appearances. Even once he’s able to return, there’s no guarantee he’ll do so with high-octane stuff.
Sánchez averaged 98.5 MPH on his four-seam and 96.6 MPH on his sinker during his seven-start MLB debut back in 2020. The righty told reporters this spring he’d lost almost 50 pounds over the offseason, though, and the organization has taken its time to allow him to build his conditioning after so many stops and starts in his rehab.
The Fish could also soon face some pressure from a roster management perspective. They’ve kept him on the 40-man roster throughout his rehab. That’s a testament to his ceiling but also limits their flexibility somewhat. While they could place him on the 60-day injured list during the season, doing so would require paying him the MLB minimum salary (at which they’ve thus far balked). There is no IL over the offseason, so he’d have to count against the 40-man tally during the winter.
More pressing is that the Fish have used their option years to keep Sánchez on the minor league IL. Most players can only be optioned in three separate seasons in their careers. Exceptions are sometimes made to grant a fourth option year when a player has missed an extended chunk of action. The Marlins received a fourth option on Sánchez for 2023. There’s no such thing as a fifth option, however, so the Marlins won’t be able to send Sánchez back to the minors next season unless they first pass him through waivers.
“The righty told reporters this spring he’d lost almost 50 pounds over the offseason…”
Good grief! Did the guy get dysentery? Or was he morbidly obese? What? Anyone know about this kid?
He divorced that midget woman.
She kept sticking her nose in his business.
Reminds me of the circus midget and the giant lady. When they were nose-to-nose his toes were in it. When they were toes-to-toes his nose was in it.
No Soup For Yu!
He’s listed at 6 feet, 234 pounds on Baseball Reference. It’s not unreasonable for him to lose 50 pounds and still be a healthy, baseball weight. With baseball fitness programs and team trainers, he also could have lost a lot of weight in a healthy way too. It’s probably not a major concern.
I hope not! 50 pounds in a short amount of time (?) would be hard on anybody. I just couldn’t discern from the article whether the weight loss was intentional.
No Soup For Yu!
According to an article I found, Sanchez weighed 260 pounds in 2022, so he was letting himself go while sidelined by the injuries. I seriously doubt the Marlins would let him lose all that weight in a dangerous way. He’s a professional ballplayer with access to some of the best nutritionists and trainers in the world. I’d be much more concerned about an average dude losing 50 pounds in 3 months than I would a major league ballplayer.
Hope you’re right boss.
But if ‘He’s a professional ballplayer with access to some of the best nutritionists’, he shouldn’t have let himself go’ in the first place.
And the effects of losing ’50 pounds in three months’ are the same, rwgardless of one’s profession.
Well, given that he’s built like Bartolo Colon, 50 pounds is nothing relatively speaking.
He was undersized, injury prone, and fat, when he was in A ball with the Phillies, and got a lot fatter, so ya, he needed to lose the 56 pounds
But dont worry, we’re assured that pitch counts are preventing injuries
Back in the 80s when there were rarely injuries the starters didnt know the dangers of throwing 120 pitches
Thankfully we’ve progressed to pitch counts of 90 and it’s preventing starters from getting injured
Wait. I misremembered. The pitch counts are more like 80 now
Must be the WBC
I recently watched a video of the great Jim Maloney tossing a CG 187-pitch no-hitter. Not only was he firing it in there in the 9th, he battled at the plate and on the bases as well.
One of the greatest season a pitcher ever had was Steve Carlton in 1972. while pitching for an absolutely awful Phillies team. I won’t list it all here, just take a good look at the #’s and keep in mind this was in the 4h year after they lowered the mound by 5 inches and a year in which Philly only won 59 games/
I’m old enough to remember Lefty Carlton. 27 wins for a team with 58 or so. That just doesn’t even make sense.
How many guys were hurt, but probably didnt know it…I think now of it’s the littlest thing, they dont want people out there, and that makes sense b/c the talent level is exponentially higher,and anything less than just doesnt work as much anymore. That’s why you dont want your starters going a 3rd time through the lineup. Not for protective reasoning every time, but more for ineffectiveness
B/c it may not look like it, but these hitters are still really good to be able to matchup against all the advantages pitchers have nowadays, and they make adjustments quickly…even a guy mightily struggling can put a good swing on you
I do agree that in some ways, training has to be part of the issue, or if not the most prevalent, it has to be wear and tear as kids playing year round. Build up other muscles by playing other sports, or doing other things, but nowadays, just to get on your Has team, you have to focus pretty heavily on just baseball to not fall behind, so it’s a cycle
I think there are definitely overkill situations of guys being taken out at the wrong time, but I actually think that’s b/c most managers aren’t good at using their bullpen, and the new rule of the 3 hitters is a dumb rule, in my opinion, and plays a role there too
Give him a chance to pitch out the bullpen next season.
Mr big dig
Sixto back for the second:
A lot of arm and shoulder injuries early this season. Wonder if the hurry up and throw the ball pitch clock might have something to do with it
Kruk's Left Nut
It’s really sad to see him going through all of these setbacks. I hope he finds better health. If he can only pitch in short spurts he’d make one hell of a high octane reliever.
Well they need hitters and im sure we can trade Winkers and Voit of the Brewers for Sanchez.
People said Philly was nuts to trade him & Alfaro away.
Loved getting JT but Sixto was the pitching prospect I was hyped for. Heard some Pedro comps so the hype was there. Injuries man.
I didnt like him when he was with the Phillies and was outraged they traded JT Realmuto for him. The guy was undersized, injury prone, out of shape, and never missed bats. I said he’d better be Pedro for putting that much into him…
He does get weak contact though
Always saw him as a middle reliever, with some possible late game options if he missed more bats in the shorter outings
At this point, I’m actually wondering if they amputated his right arm and he’s just not telling anyone.
Granted none of us are pros, but if it takes over 3 years to recover, I don’t think you’re meant to be a pitcher. Shame because he’s very talented.
If a team is balking at paying the MLB minimum for a player, that player is not so important to the team. I’ve never been big on Sanchez as his numbers in the minors were always adequate, but certainly nothing spectacular. He gave up a lot of hits once he hit the high minors and never struck out all that many, even if his walk rate was good.
If Sanchez hadn’t been hyped to the moon, I doubt anybody would care much about him.
He got weak contact, but you are right in that he never missed bats
As a Marlins fan, not surprising. These are all things I’ve been saying since he was with the Phillies…