Image credit @UnderdogGraphix
One of the Marlins’ young arms has been quite impressive during his 2019 Spring Training campaign. Pablo Lopez has been absolutely electric in his three Spring Training games so far.
He has appeared in two games out of the bullpen and has started one game. In the one game he started he threw four innings of perfect baseball against NL East division rival Washington Nationals. He struck out four batters in his four innings and his fastball touched 97 mph. Not to mention, he also had his breaking stuff working for him in a filthy fashion.
Lopez had this to say about his outing:
“I felt very good…Everything [Holladay] put I was trying to throw with conviction…Working off speeds, has been one of the main things, having the ability to reach back and forth… mixing and changing speeds.”
Lopez was definitely more than successful in the sequencing of his pitches that night. Here is an example of the sequence he used on Nationals second baseman Brian Dozier:
Outside paint at 93 to set up the beautiful changeup to strike out Michael Taylor. Pablo Lopez is dealing today. pic.twitter.com/YqhnTMyAiu
— Jack Cowart (@JackCowart34) March 10, 2019
*Credit to @JackCowart34*
Marlins’ Manager Don Mattingly also gave his take on Pablo’s night: “Obviously, Pablo was really good,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
“He was aggressive coming out of the box. Good breaking balls. His change-up was good. There was nothing really bad about it…It’s come a long way from when we saw more of a rolling breaking ball to more of the one he can throw,”
Mattingly said. “You’re not seeing any difference in the arm speed. I think everything is kind of going with that.”
So far, Lopez has a 1-0 record with eight strikeouts in a total of nine innings pitched. Keep in mind that Lopez had shoulder surgery to repair a torn left lat muscle which ended his 2018 season early. It’s an interesting story on Pablo’s journey to the big leagues at just 22 years old. He started out in Double-A Jacksonville and earned his way to a promotion to Triple-A New Orleans and eventually made his MLB debut on June 30th in the same year.