Miami Marlins Series Preview vs Atlanta Braves

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 29: Caleb Smith #31 of the Miami Marlins pitches in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park on April 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 29: Caleb Smith #31 of the Miami Marlins pitches in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park on April 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Saturday- Mike Soroka vs. Jarlin Garcia

CHICAGO, IL – MAY 07: Starting pitcher Jarlin Garcia #66 of the Miami Marlins delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 7, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – MAY 07: Starting pitcher Jarlin Garcia #66 of the Miami Marlins delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 7, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Garcia

Jarlin Garica took the Marlins community by storm through his first four starts with the club. In his first start against the Mets, Garcia tossed 6 no-hit innings before handing the ball over to Drew Steckenrider who gave up a two-out single to Todd Frazier in the seventh inning.

He followed this up with 4.1 no-hit innings against the Yankees before allowing a hit. This inspired a FanGraphs post about “Hidden No-Hitters”  centered around the Marlins’ lefty.

Through five starts the only team that has been able to hit him has been the Cubs. On Monday, the Cubs lit Garcia up for seven runs on six hits in four innings pitched.

Although Garcia has had a lot of success, his underlying metrics point to an oncoming regression. His ERA now sits at 2.68 which is 20th in all of baseball, but it may rise over his next few starts.

The problem is his lack of ability to miss bats and high walk rates. Out of 91 qualified pitchers, he has the 15th lowest strikeout rate and 30th highest walk rate. This has led to a bloated xFIP which is the 20th highest in baseball.

This high xFIP is an indication that Garcia has pitched over his head at the beginning of the season.

While I believe that Garcia will be a very valuable arm for the Marlins this season, if I have to pick a Marlins lefty between Garcia and Smith to put my stock in, I would have to bank on Smith.

Soroka

Mike Soroka was a name that I highlighted in my J.T. Realmuto trade article, and I said that he could be pitching in the Bigs sooner rather than later.

Welp, here we are just over a week later having to face the young righty. Soroka is rated as the third prospect in the Braves system and the no. 29 prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com.

Soroka has three plus pitches to go along with plus control. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90’s with heavy sink, he also has a slider and a change-up that he plays off of his fastball.

In his first two starts, Soroka has thrown his fastball a lot. Look for more of the same on Saturday as he tries to neutralize the Marlins’ bats through ground ball outs.