The Phillies have decided against sending top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez to the Arizona Fall League after the right-hander recently experienced a setback in his recovery from an elbow injury that first sidelined him in early June, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
General manager Matt Klentak confirmed the team’s decision.
Sanchez was firmly on the road to recovery and getting work in the Florida Instructional League when he recently came down with soreness in his right collarbone. Team medical officials are not alarmed by the issue and they are confident that Sanchez will be fully healthy and ready to go for spring training. However, the setback cut into Sanchez’s preparation time in Florida so the team has decided to err on the side of caution and hold him out of the AFL. The prospect-studded league opens play Tuesday and runs through Nov. 17. Sanchez had been slated to pitch for the Scottsdale Scorpions.
Sanchez, 20, was shut down in early June after experiencing right elbow soreness. After a battery of tests, it was determined that he would not require surgery. He spent the summer rehabilitating the injury in Florida and began getting back on the mound in late August.
Sanchez had been pitching for Single A Clearwater at the time of his injury. In four starts leading up to the injury, he had allowed just two earned runs in 25 2/3 innings while striking out 29 and walking four. In his last start on June 3, he delivered seven shutout innings, walked two and struck out five in a win over the Florida Fire Frogs. He reported to the ballpark the next day complaining of elbow tenderness.
The Phillies discovered Sanchez, a converted shortstop, during a workout in the Dominican Republic in late 2014 (see story). His mix of control and power stuff has made him one of baseball’s top pitching prospects and an untouchable in trade discussions. The Phillies envision him as being a mainstay in their rotation in the coming years.