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Dylan Floro quietly emerges among most reliable relievers in baseball

Acquired by the Marlins in February, the veteran right-hander has been lights out.

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by: 2021 Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

In February, the Marlins made a surprising move. Right before Spring Training, they traded for veteran reliever Dylan Floro and sent left-hander Alex Vesia, one of their promising young arms, to the Dodgers along with new draft pick Kyle Hurt.

That trade has paid off big time for the Fish, as Floro has been among baseball’s best relievers during the 2021 regular season. He’s been used mostly as the setup guy to closer Yimi García and has done a wonderful job.

Baseball Savant

In 20 games, Floro has pitched 18 23 innings of 14 hits and three runs (two earned), along with only four walks and 17 strikeouts. He is yet to allow a home run, has registered six holds, and carries a 0.96 WHIP. Opponents are hitting for a .194 batting average off him.

If you need more, the veteran righty has a streak of 12 scoreless appearances since he allowed two earned runs on April 15 against the Braves. In that span, he’s got two wins, four holds, and eight punchouts over 12 frames.

Floro is one of six National League relievers to be used in at least 20 games. Of those six, he’s second in ERA just behind the Giants’ Tyler Rogers (0.76) and third in innings, WHIP, and opponent batting average as well. In terms of bWAR, Floro is the 20th-most impactful reliever in the game. Of that group, 10 pitchers belong in the senior circuit and 12 are full-time closers, so even more credit for Floro. He owns a 0.8 bWAR, the same number as the Phillies’ Héctor Neris and Red Sox’s Matt Barnes (both closers).

With Floro and García (1.0), the Marlins are one of two teams with two relievers with at least +0.8 bWAR. The other club is the Philadelphia Phillies with Neris and Sam Coonrod (1.0). (The filter used to get these stats are pitchers with at least 80% of their games as relievers.)

Among Marlins pitchers with at least 50 batted ball events, Floro has the second-lowest average exit velocity (85.5 MPH). Ahead of him is Pablo López (85.2 MPH). Actually, that has been one of the keys for Floro—his 29.1 HardHit% is 90th percentile.

Floro’s excellence didn’t come out of nowhere. He had many of these good habits with the 2020 Dodgers and earned the trust of the organization throughout their postseason run. The Marlins did the research and concluded he could keep it going on, and so far, that bet has paid off.

Making a $975k salary in his first year of arbitration eligibility, Floro would end up being a bargain if he can stay this dominant.