It’s the 2021 debut of Marlins injury updates, a Fish Stripes series that will include weekly posts throughout the MLB season. Bookmark fishstripes.com/injuries to stay on top of everything!
For the 2020 Marlins, so many player absences were connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. At least for the early portion of this new year, that remains just as much of a concern as conventional physical ailments.
- RHP Sixto Sánchez (false positive COVID-19 test)—The Marlins’ top prospect was already a few days behind schedule due to visa issues he experienced while making travel arrangements from his offseason home in the Dominican Republic. His first day working out with teammates was Feb. 22, but soon after that, he had to pause activities due to what was later determined to be a false positive test. According to Don Mattingly on Saturday, Sánchez still needs to complete one more bullpen session and throw live batting practice before making his long-awaited Grapefruit League debut. Don’t panic, but it is my expectation that Sixto won’t be part of Miami’s Opening Day roster. A more realistic timeline would be that—assuming no further setbacks—the Marlins option him to their alternate training site initially and recall him to start the fourth game of the regular season on Apr. 5.
- RHP Dylan Floro (soreness)—The recent trade acquisition has been handled gingerly, but Floro’s short relief role will help him make up for lost time before the end of the month. He should be available for exhibition game action by the middle of next week.
- RHP Edward Cabrera (inflamed nerve in right biceps)—The right-hander’s diagnosis was announced by the Marlins in February. Though there has been improvement, he still hasn’t started a throwing program yet. “We’re not going to take any chances” with the top-100 MLB prospect, Mattingly says. With Opening Day clearly off the table, the next significant date is May 4, when Minor League Baseball is (tentatively) scheduled to return.
- RHP Tommy Eveld (right biceps nerve irritation)—Apparently irritation is much less worrisome than inflammation? It probably goes without saying that I have zero medical background. Mattingly described Eveld’s status as day-to-day. The 27-year-old reliever was removed from Wednesday’s outing when the club noticed irregularities in his delivery.
- RHP Jeff Brigham (undisclosed injury)—If he serves the minimum 60 days on the injured list, Brigham could make his Marlins season debut on May 31. The fact that they placed him on the IL—and will be paying him a major league salary while he’s on there—rather than designating him for assignment suggests that they genuinely believe he can contribute in 2021.