NL East Notes: Alcantara, Marte, Strider

Sandy Alcantara’s season is officially over, as Marlins manager Don Mattingly told reporters (including the Miami Herald’s Jordan McPherson) today that the star right-hander won’t be pitching in the Marlins’ season finale on Wednesday.  Alcantara pitched yesterday and would’ve been lined up to make his 33rd start in Wednesday’s game against the Braves, but Miami will instead close the book on what might end up as a Cy Young Award-winning campaign for the 27-year-old righty.

Over a league-high 228 2/3 innings, Alcantara has looked like an old-school workhorse in a sport increasingly dominated by pitch counts and bullpen usage.  Alcantara has a 2.28 ERA, 53.6% grounder rate, and 5.6% walk rate to go along with that big workload, and he earned his second All-Star nod.  While Miami is reportedly open to trading from its pitching depth this winter, Alcantara is known be off-limits, as his five-year, $56MM extension signed last November has made him a Marlins cornerstone.

More from the NL East….

  • Starling Marte is still recovering from his fractured right middle finger, as Mets manager Buck Showalter told Newsday’s Tim Healey and other reporters that Marte’s finger still hasn’t healed enough for the outfielder to start swinging or throwing.  Marte hasn’t played since September 6, but his attempts at making it back before the end of New York’s season have already resulted in one cessation of baseball activities, as Marte’s continued discomfort in his finger has prevented him from being able to properly ramp up his readiness.  With the regular season winding down, there must now be concern whether or not Marte will be ready when the Mets start the playoffs, whether that is on Friday (if the Mets are a wild card) or perhaps even on October 11 (if the Mets win the NL East).  Naturally, that latter date would give Marte more time to heal, but the Mets and Braves might be battling for the division title until the final day of the schedule.
  • The Braves are also missing a key figure from the pennant race, as Spencer Strider’s stint on the 15-day injured list will last until that 162nd and final game.  Strider has been dealing with an oblique strain, and manager Brian Snitker told reporters (including Justin Toscano of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) that there isn’t any update on whether or not Strider will be able to return for that last game.  The rookie right-hander has been getting treatment and doing core exercises, but while Snitker said that has been some improvement, Strider hasn’t yet started throwing.

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