The Marlins made some changes this past winter after Miami won just 69 games in 2022. Miami now has a new manager, and a couple of new faces in the starting lineup. The rotation, though, will look roughly the same for the Marlins this upcoming season. That shouldn’t be a bad thing, as the Marlins pitching staff proved to be a real bright spot for Miami last year.
A Look at the Marlins Rotation Options
- RHP Sandy Alcantara (14-9, 2.28 ERA, 8.1 K/9)
- LHP Jesús Luzardo (4-7, 3.32 ERA, 10.8 K/9)
- LHP Trevor Rogers (4-11, 5.47 ERA, 8.9 K/9)
- RHP Johnny Cueto (8-10, 3.35 ERA, 5.8 K/9)
- RHP Edward Cabrera/RHP Sixto Sanchez (Did not pitch)/LHP Braxton Garrett
The top of the Marlins rotation is set to include reigning NL Cy Young award Sandy Alcantara at the top. Alcantara had a dominant 2022 campaign in Miami, thanks to a hard sinker, well-above-average slider, and arguably the best changeup in the game today. It’s unclear as to whether the Marlins and new manager Skip Schumaker will let Alcantara get near the 228.2 innings he hit last year, but the righty proved that he can go deep in games and still remain effective.
With Pablo López no longer in Miami, LHP Jesús Luzardo will be looked upon to be a key piece in the Marlins rotation. Luzardo did deal with a forearm strain that kept him out for over two months, but the lefty was sharp upon his return. In the second half of 2022, Luzardo went 2-4 with a 3.03 ERA, .98 WHIP, and a 10.0 K/9.
Marlins LHP Trevor Rogers seemingly broke in 2021, as the lefty earned an All-Star nomination after a terrific first half. Last year, though, proved to be a different story. Rogers’ 2022 ERA sat at 5.47 ERA, the seventh-worst out all MLB pitchers (140) who threw at least 100 innings last season. The former first-round pick proved to be a tough pitcher to pick up in 2021, but consistency and control will be vital to any future success.
One pitcher who did boast great control and command last year was Johnny Cueto. Cueto, who inked a deal with the Marlins this past winter, got his career back on track with the White Sox last year. The veteran righty recorded the 11th-best BB/9 (1.9) among pitchers with 100 IP last year, despite a very low strikeout rate. The new Marlin didn’t induce many whiffs, but used his effective arsenal to get hitters to chase and make weak contact..
The fifth spot of the rotation should be decided in a lively competition. Miami has three young pitchers — Edward Cabrera, Sixto Sanchez, and Braxton Garrett — that could win that spot in Spring Training. Cabrera pitched relatively well when healthy last season, but did sport a high BB/9 (4.1). Garrett, meanwhile, recorded a 3.58 ERA across 88 innings last year.
But don’t count out Sixto Sanchez, who could make it back to the Majors in 2023 after missing each of the last two seasons. Sanchez played a major role in the Marlins’ surprise run in the 2020 MLB Playoffs, and displayed elite stuff in the process. It’ll be interesting to see how Miami handles its young starters, all of whom will be key to the future of the Marlins.