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Earning Their Stripes: 7/21/21

Here’s what happened in the Marlins organization on Wednesday.

Sixto Sanchez #73 of the Miami Marlins pitches in the first inning of an MLB game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The Arizona Fall League announced on Wednesday that it will be returning October 13 with a full-length (30-game) schedule. Each MLB team will send seven players to participate. Prime candidates include top prospects who spent the regular season at the High-A/Double-A levels and those who missed significant periods of time with injuries and need the extra reps.

Some potential Marlins names who come to mind for me are JJ Bleday, Peyton Burdick, Nick Fortes, Alberto Guerrero, Colton Hock, Anthony Maldonado (if healthy), Kameron Misner, Andrew Nardi, Josh Roberson, Connor Scott and Will Stewart.

Marlins minor league affiliates went 3-1 on Wednesday:

  • Nashville 7, Jacksonville 1 (F/10)
  • Pensacola 7, Montgomery 3
  • Beloit 1, Cedar Rapids 0 (F/11)
  • Palm Beach 5, Jupiter 6 (F/11)

Triple-A Jacksonville (34-32)

Josh A. Smith made his first appearance coming off a month-long stint on the injured list, stretching out to 43 pitches. Brian Anderson popped out and grounded into a force out in his two plate appearances while playing four innings at third base. He’s eligible to return to the Marlins active roster on Saturday, so expect one more rehab game between now and then.

Brian Miller stole his 20th base—he has reached that milestone in each of his four minor league seasons.

The Shrimp will presumably transfer Sixto Sánchez from the 7-day to the 60-day IL at some point. On Tuesday, he underwent season-ending surgery to repair a capsular tear and clean out the back side of his right shoulder. Barring setbacks, Kim Ng says he’ll be ready for the start of 2022.

Lewin Díaz has been diagnosed with a mild back strain, per Craig Mish. He hasn’t been placed on the IL yet. It is not expected to be a long absence.

Double-A Pensacola (37-31)

In a surprising announcement prior to the game, Kyle Nicolas was promoted from High-A. He joins fellow 2020 draft picks Max Meyer, Zach McCambley and Jake Eder in the Pensacola starting rotation.

Meyer’s slider was especially sharp in this outing, accounting for most of his nine strikeouts (matching his season high).

Both struggling as of late, JJ Bleday and Peyton Burdick homered for the Blue Wahoos. Those were the club’s only hits for most of the night until the ninth-inning rally.

Tanner Andrews has been on the injured list since late May and now we know why. The 25-year-old revealed Wednesday that he underwent Tommy John surgery on July 7.

High-A Beloit (30-38)

Adopt A Minor Leaguer has started a “Burritos for Beloit” fundraiser to distribute Chipotle gift cards to all members of the Marlins’ Beloit affiliate and their opponent at an upcoming game. Please help them reach their $1,200 goal!

Zach King, Jackson Rose and Justin Evans combined for 19 strikeouts.

Following Griffin Conine’s promotion, this offense could really use an extra bat, perhaps from the incoming MLB Draft class.

Low-A Jupiter (32-35)

His overall production has been underwhelming, but Víctor Mesa Jr. continues to thrive with runners in scoring position. His 41 runs batted in is third-most in the Marlins farm system this season. Mesa’s RBI double on Wednesday had an exit velocity of 99.3 miles per hour, according to Statcast.

Tommy John surgery survivor Sam Bordner appears ready for a new challenge. The 24-year-old righty has struck out 38% of all batters faced for the Hammerheads. He’s in the midst of 12 23 consecutive scoreless innings pitched.

2021 Marlins MiLB Leaders (entering July 21)