For Sandy Alcantara, rehabbing from an arm injury is a new experience. The Miami Marlins ace made it look easy on Thursday. Just two-and-a-half weeks after suffering a right UCL sprain, Alcantara was nearly perfect in his first rehab start with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in Nashville.
Through his four innings of work (51 pitches), Alcantara struck out four, didn’t walk anyone, allowed only one hit and didn’t give up any runs. The hit was recorded by MLB Pipeline’s number two overall prospect Jackson Chourio, who singled to left field.
Alcantara’s velocity maxed out at 98 miles per hour. Combining all of his four-seamers and sinkers, his average fastball velo was 95.6 mph. That’s still an elite number, but it is lower than any of his 2023 regular season starts in the majors. Aside from that, he mixed in some curveballs, sliders and changeups.
The opponent that Alcantara faced, the Nashville Sounds, had plenty of hitters with big league experience, including Garrett Mitchell, Owen Miller and former All-Star Jesse Winker.
If this proves to be Alcantara’s only rehab start, he would be lined up to rejoin the Marlins rotation on Tuesday against the New York Mets in the first game of that three-game set at Citi Field. After that, he’d be on regular rest next Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, which will be Game 162 of the regular season. The Marlins probably would only use him against the Pirates if there is still something to play for—if they clinch a postseason spot before then, it would make sense to save him for the NL Wild Card Series instead.
Along with Alcantara, right-hander Huascar Brazoban made his first rehab appearance where he struck out one in a scoreless inning of work. He has been out since August 13 with a left hip impingement. Relievers usually need multiple rehab appearances before getting cleared for reinstatement, but Brazoban is still on track to come back to the Marlins before the end of the season if there’s room for him.
Jacksonville won the game by a final score of 7-0.
Photo courtesy of Casey Gower/Nashville Sounds