Sandy Alcantara may have just turned the corner after struggling out of the gate in the second half. The right-hander delivered another seven strong innings Thursday night, allowing only one unearned run. Even though the offense wasn't lighting up the scoreboard, he left the game in line for the win.
Sandy Alcantara with a third consecutive solid start for the #Marlins— Jordan McPherson (@J_McPherson1126) August 23, 2019
7 IP, 3 H, 1 R (unearned), 7 K, 2 BB
His last three starts (all at least 7 innings): 21.2 IP, 5 ER (2.08 ERA), 15 K, 8 BB
It was not to be, though, as July trade acquisition Ryne Stanek continues to struggle. He gave up the tying run in the eighth, and then served up a walk-off single to Ronald Acuna Jr. to seal the series sweep.
Thankfully, the Marlins will not see the Braves again until next season, but losing 15 out of 19 games to them on the year will sting for quite some time.
Marlins vs. Braves box score (Baseball Theater)
Getting Back in the Groove
Having spent most of 2019 on the injured list, top prospects Nick Neidert and José Devers are finally back to playing baseball regularly. Neidert, rated as Miami’s second-best pitching prospect before missing the past three months with a knee injury, has looked solid in his return, posting a 1.96 ERA over 23 innings at Triple-A.
A lot happening in the Marlins organization tonight, but maybe nothing bigger than Nick Neidert in New Orleans. Season-high 8 strikeouts (and counting), doing it with all his pitches. Recovered from midseason knee issues, he's re-establishing himself as a long-term rotation piece pic.twitter.com/TTwOTYZswR— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) August 21, 2019
Devers was in the midst of a breakout season at just 19 years old for High-A Jupiter. He was batting .325 over 32 games before a forearm injury forced him to watch from the sidelines for most of the summer. Now rehabbing with the GCL Marlins, the infielder has hit .286 over seven games. With both players missing significant time this year, the Marlins are weighing their options on how to get them both more reps in preparation for 2020.
Among the major leaguers currently on the IL, right-hander Pablo Lopez (shoulder strain) is closest to a return. His six strong innings at Triple-A on Wednesday seemingly lines him up to rejoin the Marlins rotation early next week. There is still over a month of the major league season remaining for him to finish the campaign on a high note.
Big Few Weeks for Conley
It has been a rough season for Adam Conley, who spent a portion of 2018 as arguably the team’s best reliever and future closer, but now challenges Wei-Yin Chen on the grimace-meter for Marlins fans when he warms up in the bullpen. With no guaranteed contract for 2020 and a disastrous season (1-7, 6.93 ERA) up until this point, the lefty has a lot to prove before the end of the year...if the Marlins keep trusting him with the ball, that is.
More Research Required
Sports Illustrated has released their Top 10 major league franchises with the worst future outlooks. The article—which is predominantly ranked on the basis of current major league record and seemingly little else—has the Marlins slated for the third-worst outlook behind the Tigers and Royals. As avid Fish Stripes readers, however, we know that that could not be more wrong.
Do your homework, SI.
Although watching another losing season is tough to swallow, with bad records come high draft picks. The Marlins are almost guaranteed another top-five pick in next year’s draft at this point. With that in mind, here are the top amateur prospects who the scouting department will be keeping a close eye on when college baseball returns.
In my opinion, Miami should strongly consider selecting a polished college arm with their first pick for the first time since 2012, and Emerson Hancock would be quite the haul.
Miami returns home tonight to face the Phillies. Game one will see Hector Noesi (0-3, 9.39 ERA) square off against Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.35 ERA) at 7:10 p.m. ET.
This marks the beginning of MLB Players’ Weekend as well as Impact Week, a new initiative from the Miami Marlins Foundation aiming to “make a difference in South Florida’s youth by creating opportunities to foster an active lifestyle, achieve academic success, and build leadership skills.”