The Miami Marlins have closely monitored starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and his return to the Majors. Lopez has been dealing with a shoulder strain.
It’s all about timing. The Miami Marlins have plenty of time to make a decision as to when their starting pitcher Pablo Lopez will make his return to the Majors as he continues to make minor-league appearances while rehabbing a right shoulder strain.
The team has brought Lopez back slowly while other pitchers have come onboard and filled his spot in the rotation, but the front office and the coaching staff know it is only a matter of time, a short stint, before the 23-year-old gets back on the bump in a Major League game this season.
"“Lopez is a big part of the organization’s future, but he last threw for the Marlins on June 15. His shoulder issues first surfaced last September, forcing him to miss the final month of 2019,” writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com."
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"“When the season opened, Lopez was Miami’s No. 3 starter. In 14 starts and 76 2/3 innings, he is 5-5 with a 4.23 ERA.”"
The Marlins saw Lopez add velocity to his pitches in Spring Training and looked more in control on the mound this season, but once again injuries curtailed his progression. Lopez is expected to throw 85 pitches in a start with the New Orleans Baby Cakes before a decision is made when to bring him back to the parent club. With September roster additions and the need to evaluate talent for next season, Lopez’s inclusion in the rotation becomes more important to the franchise.
It has not been the dominance the team hoped for in his starts in the minor league system, but there is an improvement in the way he has had command on the mound. In three starts in Jacksonville at the Double-A level, and then in New Orleans, he gave up one run in 3 1/3 innings, striking out five with three walks.
"“The last outing was not great, but it was better,” manager Don Mattingly said. “His bullpens have been good.”"
The Marlins are also close to getting Jose Urena back from a herniated disc injury in his back. Urena, the team’s Opening Day starter, figures to join the bullpen, potentially as the team’s closer upon his return. The team is also now dealing with a blister injury to Elieser Hernandez that he suffered on Tuesday night against the Atlanta Braves and Tayron Guerrero, who has also been on the mend from a blister injury.
Guerrero could also see time as the Marlins closer toward the end of the season. As Frisaro explained, the reliever threw a bullpen session on Monday at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. He continues his throwing progression.