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Skinny Sixto Sánchez feeling 85% healthy entering Spring Training

Sánchez said Friday that he’s still waiting to be cleared for a return to game action.

Isaac Azout/Fish Stripes

The feel-good story of Friday’s Media Day at LoanDepot Park would have to be Sixto Sánchez. Though still an extreme longshot to crack the Miami Marlins Opening Day roster, there is far more transparency about the right-hander’s status than there had been over the previous two years. His availability confirmed what we had already suspected: he’s making a serious commitment to conditioning and nutrition.

When acquired by the Marlins from the Philadelphia Phillies in 2019, the six-foot Dominican weighed in at approximately 234 pounds. At his heaviest, Sánchez says he tipped the scales at 260. Now? He’s down to 214.

Ultimately, Sánchez’s body fat percentage is far less relevant than the structural integrity of his right shoulder. In early October, he underwent an arthroscopic bursectomy. He has progressed to throwing off a mound, but not at full intensity. The former top prospect who averaged around 98 miles per hour on his fastball with the Marlins in 2020 is only maxing out at 88 currently.

Several pitchers ahead of Sánchez on Miami’s starting pitching depth chart—Sandy Alcantara, Johnny Cueto and Jesús Luzardo—are going to be participating in the World Baseball Classic. Finding Grapefruit League innings for the 24-year-old while they’re away won’t be an issue if he gets the green light from the medical staff to compete.