Pablo Lopez's Miami Marlins career is pretty unusual
By Neil Raymond
Pablo Lopez was a subject of Miami Marlins trade rumors for months. He was then finally traded for a superior player in AL batting champ Luis Arraez. Arraez is not only coming off that award, but produced a 4.3 WAR, compared to Pablo's 3.0 WAR. I was a bit surprised to see just how popular Pablo was and how many fans miss him. It seems many think that he was an important part of the rotation who the team will miss. Just how good was his career so far?
Pablo Lopez spent five uneven seasons with the Miami Marlins.
Pablo Lopez debuted with the Miami Marlins in 2018 with a 4.14 ERA/4.49 FIP with 7.1 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 10 games and 58.2 innings pitched. This wasn't an impressive debut and was worth 0.7 WAR. At this point he just looked like a bottom of the rotation starter. In 2019, he followed that up with an even worse 5.09 ERA/4.28 FIP with 7.7 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 21 games and 111.1 innings pitched. He was worth 0.7 WAR.
Pablo's FIP was an improvement, but at this point he was still a clear bottom of the rotation starter. In the shortened 2020 season, he delivered a 3.61 ERA/3.09 FIP with 9.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 11 games and 57.1 innings pitched. He was worth 1.4 WAR. This was his breakout campaign based on K/9 and the FIP. The actual results (ERA) painted him as a mid-rotation starter. This was also a short sample size
In 2021, Pablo Lopez delivered a 3.07 ERA/3.29 FIP with 10.1 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 20 games and 102.2 innings pitched. He was worth 2.8 WAR. This was his break-out season but he also proved himself to be injury-prone as every season he had to miss time with something. Still, he was seemingly now an ace, despite the once again short sample size.
In his final season with the Miami Marlins, he delivered a 3.75 ERA/3.71 FIP with 8.7 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 32 games and 180.0 innings pitched. He was worth 3.0 WAR. Once again he spent time on the IL and he was a mid-rotation starter instead of an ace.
Pablo Lopez was never an ace for the Miami Marlins and he never pitched a full season for the team, due to often being injured. He was going to receive a raise via arbitration and hit free agency in two seasons and was a risky extension candidate. Pablo has a career 3.94 ERA and 8.5 WAR with the Miami Marlins.