9:45am: The Nats are adding Sharp and outfield prospect Jeremy De La Rosa to their 60-man player pool, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post reports (via Twitter). Both will head to the team’s alternate training site in Fredricksburg. De La Rosa, 18, ranks 15th among Nats farmhands at MLB.com and at FanGraphs. He’ll be able to get some developmental reps with the club’s staff now, although being added to the 60-man pool also makes him eligible to be directly included in a trade to another club (as opposed to being shipped off as a PTBNL).
8:50am: The Marlins have returned right-hander Sterling Sharp, their pick in last year’s Rule 5 Draft, to the Nationals, per a team announcement from the Nats. Miami designated Sharp for assignment earlier this week, and the fact that he was returned indicates he went unclaimed on outright waivers.
Sharp, 25, appeared in four games with the Fish but struggled in his final two outings. Overall, he was tagged for seven runs (six earned) on seven hits, five walks and a hit batter with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 frames. Sharp’s heavy sinker helped him keep the ball on the ground at a 65 percent clip in his brief time with the Marlins. However, the Marlins were forced to make a broad-reaching series of moves in the wake of their team-wide Covid-19 outbreak, one of which was to designate Sharp for assignment. It’s eminently possible that this outcome would’ve occurred eventually anyhow, particularly in light of his struggles.
Regardless, Sharp now returns to the Nats and gives them a relatively near-term option for their pitching staff. He’s not on the 40-man roster but could emerge as a candidate for a big league call up before long. Sharp logged 49 2/3 frames in Double-A last year, pitching to a 3.99 ERA and 2.59 FIP with 8.2 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 0.18 HR/9 and a whopping 63.3 percent ground-ball rate.