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Marlins Look to Improving Pitch Rotation

The Miami Marlins are inarguably among the top teams in the National League with a rich pitching rotation. This has led to numerous trade speculations since the team needs to find a controllable outfielder. As part of the Jacob Stallings deal, the Miami Marlins have traded Zach Thompson to the Pirates but are still open to other moves that address specific player positions. Let’s dive in at some Miami Marlins players who could come up in pitching discussions.

Best Value Combination and Potential Availability

The Atlanta Braves were crowned the 2021 World Series champions. Even though it is early to analyze who will win next season, Fox Sports have given Miami Marlins odds of +8000. Smart fans can sign up with DraftKings sportsbook and make their selections early before we see major changes in the odds after the lockout comes to an end and teams can resume pursuing free agents.

Resourceful sources have speculated that the Miami Marlins are likely to trade one among three starters with remarkable big-league experience (3-4 years). We already know that Sandy Alcantara may not be leaving yet, as evidenced by the record-setting extension in the service bucket. With Sandy out, there are only two straightforward starter candidates left for the trade move: Pablo López and Elieser Hernández.

Pablo López

Pablo López has had a remarkable past two seasons. Since 2020, Pablo has got a 3.26 ERA across 160 innings and an excellent 3.07 mark in the past season. The 25-year-old baseball pro has numerous attributes, including rarely giving up hard contact, missing a few more bats than average, a five-pitch mix, and plus control. López has enjoyed a remarkable three years of control, earning a decent $2.5 million in projected arbitration salary. This indicates that Pablo would have incredible trade value if he had been fully healthy in the 2021 campaign.

However, this was not the situation as he sustained a severe shoulder injury that deeply cost him the whole second half. Landing on the IL in mid-July, Pablo López did not return until the last day of the season. Here he just managed an abbreviated start working only 1 23 innings. Though the shoulder injury may be a blip as López has returned his velocity to optimum levels, any team looking to acquire him during the offseason may have to consider a thorough medical evaluation.

Elieser Hernández

Elieser Hernández has had two long-term injuries that have cost him a significant proportion of the 2021 campaign. The bicep inflammation injury cost him almost two months at the beginning of the year. Hernandez also, while running bases, strained his right quad, which saw him miss another few months. The absences due to the injuries negatively affected his career, limiting him to only 51 2/3 frames of 4.18 ERA ball. Generally, Hernandez is not a hard thrower though he recorded a 32.1% strikeout rate over a six-start showing in 2020. He also does not often hand out free passes and has missed a couple of bats with his changeup and slider.

Analysis

Both López and Hernandez come with three years of experience qualifying for an affordable arbitration control. Hernandez has a value at 26 years, but the truth is he is no match for Pablo López. Hernandez has generally shown a lack of volume in the past few seasons. He also gives massive hard contact on his fastball. This may not be desirable for big teams in hitter-friendly environments, which may be concerned that he is too prone to the longball. Curtailing the use of his fastball could perhaps help mitigate the longball problems.

Back-of-the-Rotation Depth Options

Braxton Garrett

In the 2016 draft, Braxton Garrett was selected seventh overall, leading to a dip in stock. Over the past two seasons, Garrett has made a couple of MLB starts earning a 3.89 ERA with quality walk rates and strikeouts in the past seasons Triple A. Braxton Garrett may not necessarily headline a deal as a controllable outfielder but maybe a desirable player for clubs as a secondary or tertiary piece.

Nick Neidert

Nick Neidert is in many ways similar to Braxton Garrett. Nick has had quite the success in minor leagues earning him a well-regarded prospect but has failed to impress in the limited big-league time. Nick Neidert possesses one of the most potent controls but often misses bats.

Cody Poteet

This previous season, Cody Poteet has had seven starts in the MLB, earning 30 23 innings and a 4.99 ERA. He, unfortunately, suffered an MCL sprain before the end of the season. This could significantly lower his arbitration value. The Marlins could very quickly remain with him into the season though he missed a couple of bats in his limited showing.

Top Prospects /Young Pitchers

Edward Cabrera

Edward Cabrera has had a somewhat disappointing first seven MLB starts. This notwithstanding, Cabrera is inarguably among the highly regarded prospects who have posted significant strikeout rates in the high minors. He has averaged 97 MPH in the big leagues with his heater.

Jesús Luzardo

Though Jesús Luzardo had a poor 2021 season, he may very well earn a position in the top ten overall prospects by Baseball America. The Miami Marlins a few months ago believed in him and landed him a one for their star center fielder. All indications indicate that he may be given a rebound.

Max Meyer

In the 2020 draft, University of Minnesota’s Max Meyer was the third overall pick out, which landed him a spot at the Marlins. Max dominated Double-A in his pro season, becoming one of the team’s top prospects. The truth is he may not be available for pitching unless part of a deal for a star.