Pablo López was having a great season for the Miami Marlins until… he no longer wasn’t. The last month saw Pablo struggle to a 5.74 ERA and have many fans wondering if something is wrong with him. Can the ace bounce back? Was his early season success a fluke?
Pablo López can still be an ace.
This isn’t the first time this season that Pablo López is having some issues. He overcame them before so why can’t he do it again? That’s definitely the obvious first answer that comes to mind. What if we “look under the hood” so to speak? Will we find anything for us to worry about or not?
If Pablo López is just going through a bad stretch, then this is a perfect time for the Miami Marlins to offer him an extension. An extension would lock him up long-term and save The Fish some money, while giving Pablo a guaranteed salary in return.
Let’s take that proverbial “look under the hood” first though. Pablo López has a 2.98 ERS with a 3.49 FIP. He actually has a 3.34 xFIP, though personally I consider neutralizing home runs to be useless, as pitchers give up varying home run totals based on skills and ballparks. These stats show us that Pablo is still at the very least a #2 starter.
Let’s look at more stats… Pablo López has a 92.6 fastball velocity and it’s actually lower than his 94.0 fastball velocity from last season, as well as his 94.1 fastball velocity from 2020. These aren’t promising stats to say the least. Predictably, his strikeout rate fell from 10.08 K/9 last season to 9.03 this season.
Pablo López also induces less swings and misses, which naturally is pretty alarming as well. It does make sense however when you consider his fastball velocity drop. It’s possible that his numbers go up if he bounces back.
Will Pablo López bounce back or is this how he’s going to be going forward? I think that he definitely will. The FIP and xFIP show that he’s still a top of the rotation starter, so these struggles are just temporary setbacks in this writer’s opinion. Pablo López is still a Miami Marlins ace.