Health update on prospect Sixto Sanchez; Future rotation excites Gabe Kapler


Three weeks after going on the minor-league disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow, prized pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez continues to go through a rehabilitation program at the Phillies’ complex in Clearwater.

According to director of player development Joe Jordan, Sanchez recently traveled to Philadelphia for a follow-up exam.

“The news was good,” Jordan said. “He’s much improved.”

Sanchez, who turns 20 on July 29, will remain on a rehab program for the foreseeable future as the Phillies continue to exercise caution with him.

“Hopefully we’ll get him back out there sometime this summer,” Jordan said.

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.

Sanchez’s 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.

Right-hander Enyel De Los Santos and lefty Cole Irvin are also projected to be members of the big-league rotation in the not-too-distant future. Both pitchers have been named to the International League roster for the Triple A All-Star Game on July 11.

De Los Santos, 22, acquired in December from San Diego for Freddy Galvis, will start the game. Through 14 starts, he was 7-3 with a league-best 1.74 ERA for Lehigh Valley.

Irvin, 24, was 8-3 with a 2.54 ERA in his first 15 starts for Lehigh Valley.

Both pitchers are considered worthy of a big-league look should the Phillies have a need in their rotation.

Manager Gabe Kapler mentioned both pitchers on Thursday as he talked about Zach Eflin, Nick Pivetta, Aaron Nola, Vince Velasquez and some of the young starting pitchers that the Phillies have assembled.

“I think it's exciting how De Los Santos and Irvin are performing at the minor-league level, as well, and given what this rotation might look like given everybody's health and experience level, six months, nine months, a year from now,” Kapler said. “It's all kind of fascinating.”

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