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Marlins reportedly placing ace Sandy Alcantara on IL with arm injury

With just weeks remaining in the regular season and a Wild Card spot in the balance, it looks like the Marlins will be without their reigning Cy Young winner for the foreseeable future.

Sandy Alcantara of the Miami Marlins pitches in the first inning during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 3, 2023 in Washington, DC. Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

With just weeks remaining in the regular season and a Wild Card spot in the balance, this is not the news the Miami Marlins wanted to hear: Reigning NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara is reportedly headed to the injured list, per Craig Mish of the Miami Herald.

The team has yet to issue any sort of official announcement or diagnosis, but it appears that Alcantara’s dealing with a flexor strain in his throwing arm. It’s unclear whether the righty will be able to return at some point in September or whether he’ll be out until the postseason — if the Marlins are able to make it that far.

Tuesday’s big win over the Los Angeles Dodgers was Miami’s fifth in a row, pulling them just a half-game behind the Reds — and one up in the loss column — for the third and final NL Wild Card spot. Losing Alcantara, however, would obviously be a big blow to a rotation that’s already dealing with injuries to Edward Cabrera and Trevor Rogers (not to mention the uncertainty surrounding Eury Perez’s workload, and just how hard the team will be willing to push its young phenom down the stretch).

Alcantara got off to a bumpy start to 2023, but he’d started to look more like his Cy Young-winning self of late, with a 3.28 ERA over seven starts since August 1 — three of which went for at least eight innings. Especially given all the issues Miami has had with its bullpen of late — marquee trade acquisition David Robertson has already pitched himself out of the closer’s role — Alcantara’s ability to gobble up innings was a huge stabilizing force. With him out of action for at least a couple of weeks, righty Bryan Hoeing figures to get more meaningful innings, while Cabrera was just recalled to the active roster and could factor in once he builds his arm back up. Miami continues its series with the Dodgers over the next two nights before kicking off a huge road trip this weekend against two more NL playoff hopefuls in the Phillies and Brewers.