Is Jesús Luzardo becoming the Miami Marlins’ new ace?
The Miami Marlins struck gold with their acquisition of Jesús Luzardo for a declining and departing Starling Marte at the last trading deadline. Luzardo is a former top prospect who had an uneven career, but seems to finally be living up to his former hype. That’s of course a major win for the team, as they missed the playoffs last season and were going to lose Marte in the offseason. He’s currently injured, but let’s look at what the Fish have with this rising young star.
Jesús Luzardo is beginning to look like the next ace of the Miami Marlins.
Jesús Luzardo was a top prospect in the Oakland Athletics organization, who burst onto the scene with the Major League club with a 1.50 ERA/2.63 FIP and 12.0 K/9 in 6 games in 2019. He didn’t start any of those games but followed it up with a 4.12 ERA/4.19 FIP and 9.0 K/9 in 12 games with 9 starts in 2020. This was an obvious decline, but he still looked promising.
Luzardo’s 2021 was a massive step back as he produced a 6.87 ERA/6.09 FIP and 9.5 K/9 in 13 games with 6 starts. He lost his spot in Oakland’s rotation and was traded to Miami, where he produced a 6.44 ERA/5.07 FIP and 9.1 K/9 in 12 games/12 starts. The hope was that Luzardo would improve in 2022 and let’s just say that he is not disappointing.
Luzardo has so far delivered a 4.03 ERA/3.75 FIP and 12.7 K/9 in 6 games/all starts this season. That production was a lot better prior to his injury, with a 3.10 ERA/2.34 FIP/2.80 xFIP in his first 4 starts. This is very impressive to say the least and if he keeps this up, that’s legitimate ace production. The question is can he keep this up? Well for one thing he has a 97.2 mph fastball. He also has a solid slider, that’s actually been his most effective pitch this season. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he can definitely continue to produce top of the rotation production.
The Miami Marlins are in an enviable position with Luzardo, Pablo López and Sandy Alcantara combining to form what could become the best top of the rotation in the game. Add top prospects such as Max Meyer and Sixto Sanchez potentially bouncing back, and the only question is can the hitting be improved enough to build a consistent contender.