The Miami Marlins will reportedly call up right-hander Zac Gallen to start against the St. Louis Cardinals tomorrow.
Pablo Lopez, one of the Miami Marlins five opening day rotational starters, will go on the injured list with an arm problem. Lopez has impressed in 14 starts this season, going 5-5 with a 4.23 ERA. He’s struck out 73 in 76 2/3 innings while walking only 18 batters. He’s currently sporting a 1.122 WHIP, good for second best in the rotation.
Zac Gallen, who is currently the Miami Marlins 18th ranked prospect according to MLB’s Prospect Pipeline, has 112 strikeouts in 91 1/3 innings with the Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League. He’s 9-1 with a 1.77 ERA, a 0.71 WHIP, a .153 opposing batting average, and 17 walks issued against 18 earned runs. He leads the PCL in K’s, ERA, WHIP, wins, and opposing batting average. And it’s not even close.
Gallen was gained by the Miami Marlins in the trade that netted the Cardinals Marcell Ozuna in December of 2017. Along with Sandy Alcantara, he currently makes up 40 percent of the Marlins rotation. The Marlins also netted Daniel Castano and Magneuris Sierra in that deal.
Gallen joined the Miami Marlins organization in the deal for David Phelps with the Seattle Mariners, along with Lukas Schiraldi, Brandon Miller, and Brayan Hernandez. Phelps faced a total of 41 batters for the Mariners in 2017, and is now part of the Toronto Blue Jays system.
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The aforementioned Prospect Pipeline has Gallen with four 50-grade or higher pitches, with nothing strictly registering as a “plus” offering. According to the site,
"Regarded as a back-of-the-rotation starter, Gallen gets results without plus stuff. His upper-80s cutter has been his bread-and-butter pitch, and he works it to both sides of the plate with the ability to backdoor it for strikes against left-handers. His low-90s fastball tops out at 94 but plays up because he creates downward plane and commands his heater well."
Look for Gallen to make the Cardinals question their choice to include him in the Ozuna deal.
Gallen joins Jordan Yamamoto and Elieser Hernandez as “replacement” starters that the Marlins have relied over the past two weeks. It became necessary as Caleb Smith, Jose Urena, and now Lopez went (or are going) on the injured list. Trevor Richards and Alcantara remain the only starters to fill the rotation since opening day.
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