Miami Marlins claimed Eli Villalobos from the Pirates off Waivers

Eli Villalobos has been acquired again, and is in the system
Miami Marlins Photo Day
Miami Marlins Photo Day / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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The Miami Marlins had a bevy of activities on their off day Monday. The most significant move being the return of Jazz Chisholm as Neil detailed, but another move that is of note is that the Marlins have reclaimed Eli Villalobos from the Pirates off waivers. Villalobos will return to the Marlins system in AA Pensacola.

Right hander Eli Villalobos was with the Marlins for 4.2 innings to start the year in Jacksonville before he went to the Pirates and played for their AAA club. With Pittsburg he pitched 17.1 innings over the course of 16 appearances and finished with a 4.15 ERA and 1.673 WHIP. Villalobos has issues with control this season, averaging 7.8 walks per nine innings when his career average sits at 3.9.

Villalobos has been in the minor leagues since 2018 when the Miami Marlins drafted him in the 14th round from Cal State. He had a breakout year in 2022 where he had a combined ERA of 2.86 over78.2 innings in 52 separate appearances between both AA and AAA. In that same year he was sitting at a 1.030 WHIP and to get to that point both his hits and walks per nine innings were below average, with hits making a huge drop from 7.8 career to 5.9.

It is unclear if Villalobos will have a path to the big leagues, even with his improved numbers with Pittsburgh's program and he may just end up being trade fodder in the upcoming deadline season. Either way, adding him back to the roster only helps the Miami Marlins and GM Kim Ng put together a more appealing package, especially if teams look at his potential based on 2022 numbers. Look for him to make some appearances soon for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and hopefully, he can continue to improve in 2023.

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