The Miami Marlins are surprising us in Spring Training but as we look towards the upcoming season, what are some expectations that we have? We have high expectations for some players and low expectations for some others. It makes sense to take a look at the three players that don't seem to have high expectations surrounding them. I think that it's a mistake as those three players are going to have big years. The first player on the list is a potential second ace...
I saw some tweets lately talking about how the Miami Marlins LOST the trade for him!! Yes, the trade where The Fish sent declining free agent to be Starling Marte for Jesús Luzardo. Yes Starling had a 3.8 WAR in 2022, but he's 34 years old and is not seen as good enough for CF defensively anymore. His EV, batting average and stolen bases all declined in 2022 and will likely continue to do so as he ages further.
Jesus Luzardo is a future Miami Marlins ace.
Jesus Luzardo gets little hype and that is just bizarre to me. Yes, he's had an injury history, but he's a 25 year old who just had a 3.32 ERA/3.12 FIP with 10.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 18 games and 100.1 innings pitched. These are excellent numbers. If he continued this for another 60-70 innings he would've been a legitimate NL Cy Young award contender!
It's not too unrealistic to expect Luzardo to pitch more innings this season, and if he does there's no reason to believe that he can't put up these numbers again. He has a 96.4 mph fastball and even his xERA was 3.39 (which makes sense as he only had a .254 BABIP against him). Let's say his ERA rises to 3.30 or so due to his BABIP rising to average levels. He would still be a top of the rotation arm. What if he improves though? What if he limits walks even further?
I wouldn't be at all surprised if Jesus Luzardo is a legitimate Cy Young award contender in 2023, or is at least a top of the rotation arm.
NEXT: A HOME RUN MACHINE?!