How Sandy Alcantara’s Extension Took Off The Kid Gloves


MIAMI, FLORIDA – AUGUST 28: Sandy Alcantara #22 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch to the … [+] Cincinnati Reds in the sixth inning at loanDepot park on August 28, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

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In just his 16th start of the season, Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara pitched his second complete game of the season. He is the only pitcher in baseball with more than one, which also goes alongside his massive lead in innings pitched (115.1, second-place has 97.2).

This is what happens when you average over 7 innings pitched an outing, which is unheard of in today’s MLB. And while Alcantara has always been a pitcher capable of going deep, it’s been on another level since he got his payday.

Ahead of the 2022 season, Alcantara signed a 5-year, $56 million contract to buy out his arbitration years. Before this contract, Alcantara averaged 6.2 innings pitched per outing in 2021.

Now, with him signed through 2026, they have allowed him to eat innings more than anyone else in baseball. And as proven last night, after Alcantara convincingly talked Manager Don Mattingly off the mound in the ninth, he has been deserving of those innings.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – JUNE 02: Sandy Alcantara #22 of the Miami Marlins prepares to deliver a pitch in … [+] the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at loanDepot park on June 02, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

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On the year, the former St. Louis Cardinals farmhand has a 1.95 ERA (lowest in the National League), a 0.954 WHIP and has only allowed 6 total home runs.

If his workload continues at this pace, the Marlins may be cashing in on the young star even more than just his stats and ability to reset the bullpen: potential history.

With the constant length of appearance and walks and hits per inning being below 1, Alcantara may be the most likely candidate to throw a no-hitter or perfect game. Which for any owner is a cash cow in itself.

Although more times than not a no-hitter or perfect game is a statistical anomaly, the likelihood of a complete game no-hitter becomes less likely by the season. For reference, the Angels Reid Detmers is the only starter to go the distance with a no-hitter this year, and since then the lefty first rounder is back in Triple-A

Since the last perfect game by Felix Hernandez in 2012, complete games have deflated 14.2%. Alcantara is one of the few arms trending in the opposite direction, where the closest he has gotten to a historic start was

If the right-hander can put together one start to be remembered, he’d also be setting up himself for his next contract, whether it is with the Marlins or not.

But for the time being, Alcantara is a rare athlete in comparison to the other rotation pieces. He highlights a group of young arms that deserve more attention, but their lack of success as a team in a loaded division keeps them from showing them off.

However, with his guaranteed future with the team and a manager with an older mindset, we may see a team-wide effort to be led by elite starting pitching that goes deep.

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