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What to do with Alex Sanabia

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Joe Frisaro received the following question about Alex Sanabia in his weekly "Inbox" feature on the official site.

What are the Marlins going to do with Alex Sanabia now that they have Javier Vazquez?
-- Steve A., Miami

 To which he responded in part:

...Sanabia is just 22, and he won the respect of his teammates with his competitiveness and talent as a rookie. He will go into Spring Training looking to build on his 5-3 record and 3.73 ERA in 98 1/3 innings this past season.

For now, Sanabia would look to be in contention for a bullpen spot, perhaps long relief. Or, if the team feels he would benefit by being in the Triple-A New Orleans' rotation, it may choose to start him off there.

If the Marlins have half a brain they will send him to NOLA where he can start.  The young man showed some talent as a starter and it would be a waste to let him sit on director's chair in the bullpen.  Someone as young as Sanabia needs to be in a situation where he is starting regularly and not wondering when and whether he is going to pitch again.

Starting pitchers are creatures of habit.  They get into a ritual and stay there - it's there comfort zone.  Sanabia showed last season they he may be in the Marlins future plans as a starter and there is no reason to screw with his regime now.  Also, should a starter get injured or the Fish have massive rainouts and need another starter, he will be stretched out and ready to go.  Which is something he won't be if he is pitching sporadically out of the pen.  Anyway, Burke Badenhop does a fine job in long relief, should the Marlins choose to use him in that role again. And they probably will.

Since it is unlikely Sanabia will make the rotation out of spring training, just send him to NOLA and let him impress Zephyr fans.  It is for the best.