Marlins shut down Cy Young candidate Alcantara
Sandy Alcantara's brilliant season has come to an end.
The Miami Marlins will shut down the All-Star right-hander and potential NL Cy Young front-runner after 32 starts, manager Don Mattingly announced Saturday.
Alcantara, who took a complete-game loss in Friday's brilliant pitchers' duel against Corbin Burnes, was scheduled to make one last start against the Atlanta Braves on the final day of the season. That game could have major implications for the Braves, who are fighting with the New York Mets for the NL East title, but Mattingly felt keeping Alcantara healthy was more important than trying to play spoiler.
"Organizationally, (we) just felt like there was no reason to have him continue (given the) innings that he's thrown this year," Mattingly told reporters, per Christina DeNicola of MLB.com. "(We) kind of expect a little bit of blowback if it's the last day and it's a big game or whatever from Atlanta or New York, (but) we gotta take care of Sandy first. If it gets to that point, there's been 161 games to decide this thing. The last day is not our responsibility."
Alcantara was a shining star during yet another lost Marlins season. The 27-year-old's 228 2/3 innings are 29 more than the NL's second-place hurler, Miles Mikolas, making for the largest gap between first and second place in 43 years, according to DeNicola. Alcantara's six complete games are the most by any pitcher since 2017 when Ervin Santana and Corey Kluber each had five. He's also the first NL hurler with six-plus CGs in eight years.
The two-time All-Star finishes his campaign with a 2.28 ERA, 2.99 FIP, 0.98 WHIP, and 207 strikeouts, along with a 14-9 record. He sits in the top five in the NL in multiple categories and is also the first pitcher in Marlins history to post consecutive 200-strikeout seasons.
Alcantara is likely to be at least an NL Cy Young finalist in a race that also features Carlos Rodon and Max Fried, among others. Miami has never had a Cy Young winner in its history.
The Marlins signed Alcantara to a five-year, $56-million extension during the offseason.