Sandy Alcantara, the Marlins’ number two overall ranked prospect returns to the mound tonight to face off against Nick Pivetta and the Phillies for the final game of the series. The young flame thrower enters the game 1-0 with an 1.80 era leading into his second major league start.
Alcantara, who spent more than a month on the disabled list with a right axillary infection will be dueling for the series win against Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta. Alcantara spent some time in High-A Jupiter on a rehab assignment before being reinstated from the disabled list and eventually being optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.
The club’s decision to option Alcantara was simply because they want him to be more aggressive with his fastball while maintaining command and his high velocity. Mattingly would go on to say “I don’t think anybody was really happy with the fastball command and what they’ve seen in the three outings he’s had and it’s one of the things we’ve preached. We felt like we wanted to let that progression keep going and let him get in the rhythm and get a hold of that.”
Obviously throwing hard isn’t enough for the young right-hander to stay in the bigs in the eyes of the organization. If Alcantara wants to stay up in the majors and be successful, its critical that he has good fastball command. It’s possible that the display of his fastball command will determine whether or not the organization thinks he is ready to stay in the rotation.
Alcantara’s last big league start was against the New York Mets where he went five innings pitched while allowing one earned run. Seems like a solid start right? Not exactly. Although he allowed only one earned run he walked five batters in the process. Sandy threw 62% fastballs out of his total pitch count of 98, out of those only fifty of them were strikes. Not the ideal command coming from a top-tier prospect. Tonight’s game should be an exciting game to watch featuring the young righty power arm.
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