Entering play on April 8, no pitcher in Major League Baseball had more walks on the season than young Marlins hurler Edward Cabrera. The 24-year-old was well-hyped heading into the year, but it’s been a very tough go thus far for Cabrera. With that said, should you cut Cabrera after what he’s shown? It’s a bit complex.
A Look at Cabrera
It’s been an auspicious start to the 2023 season for Marlins starter Edward Cabrera, who looked quite impressive in his first extended time in the Majors last year. Across 71.2 IP, the 24-year-old right-hander struck out 75 batters and posted a very respectable 3.01 ERA. While he did have a very low BABIP (.207) in those innings, Cabrera showcased premium stuff. The young righty possesses a plus changeup to go along with a hard fastball, and two breaking balls.
The 2023 campaign, though, has been a bit different story. Over this first two starts — both of which came against the Mets — of the season, Cabrera yielded just two hits but walked 13 batters over 6.2 innings. That total leads the league for most walks by a pitcher as of April 8.
If you look at the pitch chart, it’s not hard to see that he’s thrown a lot of non-competitive pitchers. The youngster’s failed to command that fastball well up high, nor done a good job with the change.
The 24-year-old does have six strikeouts, but also a 5.40 ERA in his first two starts.
2023 Fantasy Outlook
There are a lot of factors that are working against Cabrera, For one, the young right-hander’s ceiling will be limited in 2023, thanks to command problems and the fact that Miami doesn’t set to be a high-scoring team. As of April 8, Miami had the fourth-lowest team OPS (.650) and the fewest runs scored (18) in all of Major League Baseball. Thus, win opportunities will be limited — and that’s not even taking into account the fact that the 24-year-old is a question mark to throw five innings every time out.
What makes projecting Cabrera’s value even more difficult is the arms behind him on the depth chart. LHP Braxton Garrett didn’t start the year in the rotation, but is in thanks to the injury to Johnny Cueto. Should Garrett pitch well in Cueto’s abscence, he could factor into the equation. Add in prospect Eury Perez and Sixto Sanchez, the latter of whom may pitch in the Majors for the first time since 2020 this year, and the 24-year-old’s margin of error is slim.
We do recommend looking for alternative options on the waiver wire if you’re feeling pessimistic about Cabrera. While he does have tremendous stuff, refinement of it is still a work in progress. On the other hand, he could have some value against teams that like to be aggressive at the plate.