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Former Phillies top prospect Sixto Sánchez to undergo season-ending surgery

Right-handed pitcher Sixto Sánchez will undergo season-ending surgery after an MRI revealed a small tear in the posterior capsule of his right shoulder, according to Christina De Nicola of The Miami Marlins are hopeful Sánchez will be ready for the start of spring training in 2022.

Sixto Sánchez will undergo season-ending surgery. (Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire)

Craig Mish of the Miami Herald reported that a source told him that Sánchez had suffered a tear in March. In hopes of avoiding surgery, rehab was recommended. Now, 2021 is a lost season for the former Phillies top pitching prospect.

It’s been a tumultuous year for Sánchez. He missed time in spring training due to a visa issue and false positive COVID-19 test. Following a simulated game in which Sánchez was pulled early shortly before the beginning of the 2021 regular season, the Marlins paused his throwing program due to shoulder inflammation. He began throwing on flat ground in May, was shutdown again in the beginning of June and resumed throwing again shortly after.

After a painfully slow build up, Sánchez’s season is over. Considering that the Marlins are nine games out of first place, it’s best for both the team and Sánchez to prioritize his long-term health. At times, Sánchez flashed superstar potential in the 2020 shortened season. He had a 1.69 ERA in his first five starts of his career and threw five shutout innings in his postseason debut against the Cubs in the wild card round. Pundits around baseball compared Sánchez and his pitch arsenal to the likes of Pedro Martínez.

Sánchez missed significant time in 2018 with a right elbow injury while he was a prospect in the Phillies’ minor-league system.

Meanwhile J.T. Realmuto, who the Phillies traded for in exchange for Sánchez, catcher Jorge Alfaro and pitcher Will Stewart, was named to his second All-Star team with the Phillies on Sunday. Realmuto became a free agent following the 2020 season, but the team retained him by signing the star catcher to a five-year, $115.5 million contract.


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