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2023 Marlins Season Preview: Jesús Luzardo

After seemingly figuring things out in 2022, what will Luzardo provide Miami with in 2023?

Jesus Luzardo #44 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the second inning at loanDepot park on September 21, 2022 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Find all of our articles previewing 2023 Miami Marlins players here.

LHP Jesús Luzardo

  • Drafted by the Washington Nationals (3rd Rd, 2016).
  • Traded to the Oakland Athletics on Jul. 16, 2017.
  • Made MLB debut on Sept. 11, 2019.
  • Traded to the Miami Marlins on Jul. 28, 2021.
Jesús Luzardo’s MLB statistics


Jesús Luzardo emphatically turned his career around in 2022. He posted a 3.32 ERA that was roughly half as high as his 2021 late-season mark upon initially arriving in Miami, not to mention an even better 3.12 FIP. What precipitated this?

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas alum became a complete pitcher. Of the 4 pitches in his arsenal—curveball, 4-seam fastball, changeup and sinker—each offering posted an average or better run value as estimated by Baseball Savant.

Jesús Luzardo’s run values, 2021-2022
Baseball Savant

On a rate basis, Luzardo’s sinker proved his most effective weapon (minus-1.1 runs for every 100 thrown). By other standards—including the eye test—the curveball was his signature pitch. Among the 43 pitchers with at least 100 PA ending on curves, Luzardo’s .167 xBA ranked 9th and its 44.5-percent K-rate sat 7th-best.

When consistently finding the strike zone, Luzardo put hitters away with relative ease, finishing in the 87th and 88th percentiles in strikeout and whiff rates, respectively. The southpaw’s 6.2 H/9 tied him with AL Cy Young runner-up Dylan Cease for 7th-best among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched, and his .191 opponent batting average ranked 4th lowest among all NL pitchers.

While pitching respectably at home, it was on the road where Luzardo’s star truly beamed. Among the 126 pitchers to make at least 10 road starts in 2022, he yielded a .516 opponent OPS. That ranked 4th lowest in the sport, putting him in elite company with the likes of Justin Verlander (.495), Shane McClanahan (.507), and Clayton Kershaw (.508). Luzardo’s 72 tOPS+ in road contests ranked 3rd, with only Paul Blackburn (65) and Germán Márquez (67) fairing better.


Beyond what may have plagued him on the field, Luzardo missed the better part of two months beginning in mid-May due to a left forearm strain. In every season of his professional career except for the COVID-shortened 2020, he’s either been interrupted by injuries or had his workload carefully managed.

Never the best at limiting hard contact, Luzardo’s hard-hit rate has steadily gotten worse with each passing season, registering in just the 39th percentile in 2022. Year over year, he experienced a 2.2-percent drop in weak contact (5.9 to 3.7) This is one of the facets of Luzardo’s previously-praised curveball—and entire arsenal altogether—that makes him such an extreme on either side of the coin. One would find it hard to believe a sub-.200 batting average can be sustained on a pitch with a 42.9-percent hard-hit rate. Luzardo was indeed the only pitcher to simultaneously clear both of those thresholds (min. 100 PA ending on the pitch).

Though Luzardo’s control has improved, he completed only one walk-free outing last season. He throws too many waste pitches, contributing to his bloated average of more than 4 pitches per plate appearance.

Jesús Luzardo’s percentile rankings, 2022
Baseball Savant

2023 Marlins Role

ZiPS Projection: 107.2 IP, 3.93 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 10.03 K/9, 1.6 WAR

After a year of wondering what to expect from him, Luzardo should enter 2023 as the team’s No. 2 starter, slotting right behind reigning Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara. While he’s still somewhat of a work in progress, if what we saw in 2022 is any indication of things to come, well, to defer to the trite adage, “the sky’s the limit” for the man dubbed the Lizard King.


Over/Under 140 innings pitched for Jesús Luzardo in 2023?

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  • 79%
    (19 votes)
  • 20%
    (5 votes)
24 votes total Vote Now