The Miami Marlins entered Thursday having lost five games in a row, dropping them to second place in the National League East with a 9-9 record. The Marlins will conclude their series with the New York Mets on Thursday night before jetting off to Washington, D.C. to play the Nationals over the weekend. Because of how close the teams are in the standings — the Nationals entered the day a game and a half back — that series looks like an important one.

The Fish, for their part, seem to agree. On Thursday, they promoted right-handed starter Sixto Sanchez and outfielder Jesus Sanchez to the majors, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman

The two Sanchezes (no relation to each other) entered the season ranked by CBS Sports as Miami’s No. 2 and 3 prospects, behind only outfielder JJ Bleday. Funny enough, both were acquired through trades: Sixto came from the Phillies in the J.T. Realmuto deal, while Jesus joined as part of the swap with the Rays that saw reliever Nick Anderson shipped to Tampa Bay.

Here’s part of what we wrote about each back when, beginning with Sixto:

There’s also the fact that Sanchez, for all his stuff and polish, doesn’t miss as many bats as expected — not even with his fastball. More goes into being a successful pitcher than whiff rates, and it’s possible he’ll become one of the masters of the freezeball — the way David Price, who as a youngster missed bats at a lower rate than Jamie Moyer, was in his heyday. Until he proves as much against big-league hitters, it’s fair to have some reservations.

And now Jesus:

The main reason Sanchez was deemed undesirable by other clubs is because his main strength — his bat — doubles as a question mark. In theory, he has the potential to hit for a high average and bop 25-plus home runs a season. In practice, his approach limits his on-base percentage, and he’s yet to look the part against upper-level minor-league pitchers. Put another way, Sanchez over the last two seasons has 259 plate appearances where he’s performed well-below-average and 316 where he’s performed like someone of his stature should.

The Marlins’ team-wide COVID-19 outbreak earlier in the summer means they’re still trying to put together a roster that works. Sixto, then, is not joining a rotation that was expected to feature Caleb Smith and Sandy Alcantara, but, instead, one that includes less-heralded rookies Daniel Castano and Humberto Mejia, as well as former Rule 5 pick Elieser Hernandez.

As for Jesus, he’s the Marlins’ latest attempt to get more offense out of their outfield. Offseason additions Corey Dickerson and Matt Joyce haven’t played as well as expected, while Magneuris Sierra is the only one of their other outfielders — a group that includes Monte Harrison and Lewis Brinson — with an OPS+ over 75.


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