Anibal Sanchez Is Finally Healthy

In 2006, Anibal Sanchez burst on the scene as a 22-year-old, throwing a no-hitter and posting a 2.83 ERA in his rookie season, though his xFIP was two runs higher than his ERA. He never really had the chance to regress, though, as he went down with a shoulder strain in 2007 that was eventually revealed to be a torn labrum. Surgery and recurrences of arm problems knocked him out for most of the 2008 and the first half of the 2009 season, though he pitched pretty decently to finish the season.

This year, Sanchez came into camp 30 pounds lighter and determined to stay healthy. His first six starts were pretty mediocre, however, as he continued to struggle with his command and was only running a 5.35 K/9.

But as the season has gone on, Sanchez has only gotten stronger, as you can see in his velocity chart below.

Velocity, however, isn’t the only place he’s showing improvement. Over his last five starts, Sanchez has racked up 36 strikeouts in 32 innings, giving him a 10.13 K/9 that is ninth best in baseball over the last 30 days, and puts him in a virtual tie with Roy Halladay, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Ricky Nolasco. As his stuff has ticked up, so has his ability to blow hitters away, and the version of Sanchez taking the mound for the Marlins right now is the best we’ve ever seen him.

Josh Johnson generates most of the headlines, but he’s got some pretty good company in that Florida rotation. A healthy Sanchez, and one with a fastball that is trending up, is a nice addition to the Marlins core.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

4 Responses to “Anibal Sanchez Is Finally Healthy”

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  1. tdotsports1 says:

    Florida’s rotation is pretty formidable, too bad they didn’t get much substance for Cabrera in retrospect.

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    • bigjonempire says:

      Hey, they may have looked good a few years ago, but the luster is definitely gone from Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller.

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    • SSO says:

      Did A. Miller have arm troubles? He sounds horrible now.
      Recently from BA :
      “Marlins LHP Andrew Miller is lost. The 2006 first-round pick is 2-9, 5.35 overall in 21 starts; ranks sixth in the minors with 76 walks in just 101 innings; and is getting hammered by Double-A hitters, with an 0-3, 8.84 mark with Jacksonville this month. Whatever changes the Tigers and now the Marlins have made to Miller, 25, haven’t worked; scouting reports indicate he has enough velocity, at times sitting in the low 90s but at others in the upper 80s, and his slider has gone backwards. His delivery is out of whack, leading to command problems. Miller was a long-toss beast in college who threw across his body but also threw quality strikes, touched 98 mph and had a killer slider. That sounds like a better package than what is now pitching at Jacksonville.”

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  2. jokar15 says:

    Can you imagine if they received the same luck in prospects as they got from Beckett? Beckett brought back Han-Ram and Anibal, and if Maybin and Miller had been all they were suppose to be that would have been a great core.

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