The Marlins have played—shockingly well—in August despite missing some of their most talented and respected players. What could this team be capable of when it’s close to full strength again? We may soon find out, Craig Mish reports:
The joint committee has approved reinstatement for Marlins Starting Pitcher Sandy Alcantara and Shortstop Miguel Rojas. Other players on Miami are also at this stage, pending approval. They are on the verge of returning to the field in Jupiter.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) August 15, 2020
Right-hander Sandy Alcantara and shortstop Miguel Rojas starred in the season-opening series win in Philadelphia, only to test positive for COVID-19 during the subsequent days. A total of 18 players in the Marlins’ traveling party were infected by a virus outbreak. All of them were transported back to South Florida via bus and instructed to quarantine themselves until testing negative consecutive times at least 24 hours apart (as specified by MLB protocols).
Fish Stripes’ Hector Rodriguez was first to confirm that Alcantara tested negative twice.
The Marlins have made an announcement on this subject—without naming any individuals, they say that the majority of players on the COVID-19 Related IL have been approved for reinstatement.
Now in his fourth major league season, the young flamethrower said previously that he was asymptomatic throughout the process. On the other hand, Miggy Ro suffered from a fever, soar throat and headaches. The fact that he’s already virus-free despite enduring that bodes well for the projected returns of the other players.
During Alcantara’s absence, the Marlins rotation depth has been a concern, with Humberto Mejía, Josh A. Smith and Daniel Castano each being added from the alternate training site in Jupiter to provide some length. Castano will make his second start on Saturday night against the Braves.
Without Rojas (and Isan Díaz, who opted out of the season on July 31), middle infield duties have belonged to Jonathan Villar, Eddy Alvarez and Jon Berti.
Anxious as we all are to see them back in action, the Marlins will proceed cautiously. Particularly in Alcantara’s case, it should require multiple throwing sessions for him to get “stretched out” after weeks of limited physical activity. Also, the team’s 9-4 record affords them some margin for error. Do not expect to see either player activated during this current homestand, which ends Aug. 20 against the Mets.