If all goes well, middle infielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. and catcher Jorge Alfaro could return to the Miami Marlins’ active roster by next weekend. Star pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, meanwhile, is at least another month away.
That’s according to first-year Marlins general manager Kim Ng, who provided updates on a few of the Marlins’ key injured players during a mid-game interview Friday on Bally Sports Florida while the Marlins began a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers at loanDepot park.
Ng said Chisholm and Alfaro, both of whom are dealing with hamstring strains, are “starting to get pushed now, doing some agility drills, doing some running, taking [batting practice].” The plan is for both of the to start rehab assignments next week “and hopefully by the end of the week, they’ll be ready to come back.” Right-handed pitcher Elieser Hernandez is throwing a live batting practice session on Saturday and then will be sent to a rehab assignment as well.
“We’ll just have to build up his pitches,” Ng said.
Sanchez, the Marlins’ top prospect and a consensus top-25 prospect in baseball, is “a bit away still” as he deals with a right shoulder injury, according to Ng. She said the Marlins are hoping he will return “sometime in June.”
“We’re not going to rush him at all,” Ng said. “We’re not rushing any of these guys. Obviously we want to be conservative in our approach early in the season because we’ve still got a long road ahead of us and a lot of baseball to be played.”
Other topics of discussion during Ng’s half-inning interview with Todd Hollandsworth and Paul Severino:
▪ On the bullpen’s improvement: “I really do think that a lot of things have sorted themselves out. John Curtiss, he’s a guy who can go multiple innings. He’s also a guy we can put in some fairly high-leverage situations. [Dylan] Floro has really come on the last several weeks. He’s been a great addition to the bullpen. And Yimi [Garcia’s] figured it out [as the closer]. We’ve got Anthony Bass back there, who’s got some closing experience. [Adam] Cimber has ironed himself out a little bit. Zack Pop, our Rule 5 pick, besides one outing, has shown real well. We’re really excited about what these guys have done.”
▪ On watching young players like Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Trevor Rogers blossom: ”We’ll give them as much as they can prove they can handle obviously without risking their health. You know, I think we’re all anxious and excited to see what these guys can do and help them fulfill their potential.”
▪ On if she thinks the one-two-three starting pitching combination of Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez and Rogers is one of the best trios in baseball right now: “Absolutely. I’m not sure I can say enough about these three. And, you know, really as a club, to do what we’ve done with two-fifths of a rotation down essentially since April 3, it’s amazing. We’ve said it all along this offseason that we’re all about the pitching. And those three have absolutely put up with just incredible numbers, with this guy right here [Rogers] performing like he’s like a, he’s like he’s a 10-year veteran.”