2024 Miami Marlins Pitching Preview

2024 Miami Marlins Pitching Preview

The conclusion of the football season means that fantasy fanatics can now prepare for spring training and the upcoming baseball season. Courtesy of Baseball America, NFBC Hall-of-Fame analyst Shawn Childs takes a deep dive into the 2024 Miami Marlins Pitching Preview.

Starting Pitching

SP Jesus Luzardo

Over five seasons in the minors, Luzardo went 16-9 with a 3.01 ERA and 272 strikeouts over 236.1 innings.

After being eased into 2020, Luzardo failed to live up to expectations over his nine starts (3.83 ERA and 52 strikeouts over 49.1 innings). He didn’t allow a run in four appearances (20.1 innings) while having one disaster showing (six runs and 11 baserunners over 3.1 innings).

Luzardo lost his command (4.5 walks per nine) and confidence in 2021, resulting in 20 home runs over 95.1 innings. Batters beat him to the tune of a .280 batting average. He had an ERA higher than 5.25 every month.

In 2022, he dominated in his first start (one run over five innings with 12 strikeouts). Luzardo battled his command (15 walks) over his next five matchups, leading to too many rough innings (4.50 ERA, 1.292 WHIP, and four home runs over 24 innings). His struggles were tied to a forearm issue that led to 11 weeks on the injured list. Luzardo reached ace status over his final 71.1 innings (3.03 ERA, 0.981 WHIP, 0.198 BAA, and 79 strikeouts).

Last year, Luzardo gave the fantasy market a nice season despite moments of duress. Over five starts starting on May 21st, he allowed 18 runs, 29 baserunners, and four home runs over 26.1 innings, where his ERA (6.15) was well off the WHIP (1.101). Later in the year, his arm struggled to get batters out in four of seven matchups (24 runs, 54 baserunners, nine home runs, and 39 strikeouts over 35.1 innings). Luzardo gave up 19 of his 22 home runs over 528 at-bats to righties, with a .248 batting average. In addition, he was a significant liability on the road (4.48 ERA, 1.379 WHIP, and .276 BAA over 70.1 innings).

His average fastball (96.8) was the best of his career. Luzardo had one dominating pitch (slider – .229 with 115 strikeouts over 210 at-bats), but it had less value against right-handed batters (.275 BAA). He gained an edge with his four-seamer (.253 BAA) and changeup (.245 BAA) with more success with a low-volume sinker (.275 BAA vs. lefties ~ .207 BAA).

Fantasy Outlook: With a 32-start season on his resume, plus 200+ strikeouts and better command, Luzardo will be treated like a foundation SP2 in the high-stakes market based on his ADP (81) in early February.  On the downside, he had a jump of 75.2 innings from 2022 and questions of what happens on his down days. In five of his 13 road starts, Luzardo gave up two runs or fewer when pitching at least five innings. I don’t want to overlook his potential injury risk due to his forearm injury in 2022. I’m hoping for a great spring and a rise-up draft board to remove him from my thought process. He is trending closer to a 3.00 ERA with 225 strikeouts if Luzardo can pitch 190.0+ innings and better success away from home.

SP Eury Perez

Miami hooked a gem with the signing of Perez out of the Dominican Republic. His minor league career started at age 17 in 2021. Over 78.0 innings at A and High A, he posted a 1.96 ERA and 108 strikeouts.

The following season, a lat injury cost him about five weeks of development at AA. When on the mound, Perez pitched at a high level over his first 61.2 innings with a 2.92 ERA, 0.908 WHIP, .188 BAA, and 87 strikeouts. He tripped up over three appearances (13 runs, 27 baserunners, and three home runs over 11.0 innings with 15 strikeouts), leading to a trip to the injured list. His season ended with four shutout innings with eight strikeouts.

Perez shined over his first six starts (2.32 ERA, 0.806 WHIP, .148 BAA, and 42 strikeouts) last year at AA before getting his call up to the majors. Other than a disastrous game on July 1st (six runs and seven baserunners over one-third of an inning), he handled himself well over 11 matchups in the majors (2.36 ERA, 1.088 WHIP, .208 BAA, and 61 strikeouts over 53.1 innings). Miami shut him down around the All-Star break for three weeks to conserve innings. Unfortunately, Perez ran out of gas over his 10 appearances between AA and the majors (4.74 ERA, eight home runs, 59 strikeouts over 43.2 innings).

His average fastball (97.5) is already one of the best in the game in velocity. Batters struggled to hit his slider (.200 BAA), curveball (.114 BAA), and changeup (.103 BAA). Perez had the most struggles with his four-seamer (.287 BAA and 12 home runs over 181 at-bats).

Fantasy Outlook: Perez will turn 21 on April 15th while already offering beast upside, along with an edge in size (6’8” and 220 lbs.). Last year, he pitched 128.0 innings, putting him on track to throw at least 160.0 innings. Home runs were a problem last year, and Perez must pitch better late in the season to help fantasy teams win league championships. His ADP (80) in NFBC in early January ranked him neck and neck with Jesus Luzardo. With a step up in command, he has the potential and pitches to post a sub-3.00 ERA with a run at 200 strikeouts. Don’t be shy, especially if he is discounted.

SP Trevor Rogers

In the 2017 June Amateur Draft, Miami drafted Rogers with the 13th overall pick. However, a left forearm injury pushed back his debut in the minors until late May in 2018. He struggled over 17 starts at A ball (5.82 ERA). Rogers looked worthy of his high draft selection in 2019 (2.90 ERA and 150 strikeouts over 136.1 innings) while seeing regression after his promotion from High A (2.53 ERA) to AA (4.50 ERA).

After struggling in 2020 with Miami (6.11 ERA over 28 innings), Rogers kicked down the major league door over his first 20 starts (2.45 ERA and 129 strikeouts over 110 innings) in 2021. A family issue led to him missing August. He posted a 3.52 ERA with 28 strikeouts over his final 23 innings.

In 2022, Rogers battled his way over his first 19 starts (5.85 ERA and 1.597 WHIP over 87.2 innings) due to command issues (41 walks) and home runs allowed (12). Over this span, he gave up more than three runs in seven matchups. A back injury pushed him on the injured list for five weeks. Rogers teased over his next three starts (2.95 ERA, .209 BAA, three walks, and 22 strikeouts over 18.1 innings) before ending the year with a lat injury.

Unfortunately, his 2023 season lasted four starts due to a biceps injury and a lat issue in July.

His average fastball (93.5) over 18.0 innings was a career low. Rogers lost some value with his changeup (.255 BAA) while adding a sinker (.259 BAA). His four-seamer (.147 BAA) and slider (.177 BAA) showed promise.

Fantasy Outlook: Over seven seasons in pro ball, Rogers already has two left arm issues (forearm and biceps), suggesting TJ surgery is only one pitch away. His ADP (352) removes his injury risk in the draft championship season. If Rogers looks sharp in spring training, he will scoot up draft boards, creating a different dilemma. His 2021 success (2.64 ERA and 157 strikeouts over 133.0 innings) remains in the rearview mirror. If he stays healthy, Rogers is a risk/reward player with a difference-maker upside for his price point.

SP Edward Cabrera

Cabrera had a tough time over his first three seasons in the minors. He posted a 4.21 ERA at rookie ball in 2016, followed by weakness at Low A (5.30) and Single-A (4.22 ERA). In 2019, his arm improved significantly (9-4 with a 2.23 ERA and 116 strikeouts over 96.2 innings). Cabrera had about the same success at High A (2.02 ERA) and AA (2.56 ERA).

He missed the first month of the 2021 minor league season with a biceps issue. Over 13 starts, he posted a 2.93 ERA and 92 strikeouts over 61.1 innings. Miami gave him seven more chances late in the year, but Cabrera struggled in almost every outing (5.81 ERA, 1.663 WHIP, and six home runs over 26.1 innings). He pitched over four innings in one game with a tremendous walk rate (6.5).

Cabrera started 2022 with another biceps injury, followed by nine productive starts in the minors (2.79 ERA and 54 strikeouts over 38.2 innings). He picked up an elbow issue in June, putting him on the shelf for five weeks. His arm flashed over his final 11 starts (2.89 ERA, 1.036 WHIP, .177 BAA, and 60 strikeouts over 56 innings).

Walks (30) were a problem for Cabrera over his first 35.1 innings, leading to a 5.35 ERA and 1.669 WHIP). He landed on the injured list in June with a right shoulder injury. For the remainder of the year, Cabrera posted a 3.64 ERA, 1.321 WHIP, and 69 strikeouts over 64.1 innings, but he walked 36 batters.

Cabrera offers a plus fastball (96.3 mph). Batters struggled to hit his changeup (.198 BAA), curveball (.199 BAA), four-seamer (.236 BAA), slider (.109 BAA), and sinker (.217 BAA).

Fantasy Outlook: Cabrera has explosive upside, but his command (6.0 walks per nine) continues to derail his potential. Last year, he pitched six innings in only three of his 22 appearances, hurting his chances to win games. His biceps and elbow issues are also red flags early in his career. Cabrera pitched a career-high 128.0 innings last year. His ADP (295) in the NFBC fits potential. I can’t trust his command or health, so I’ll sit this dance out.

SP Braxton Garrett

Over four seasons in the minors, Garrett went 14-14 with a 3.60 ERA, 1.234 WHIP, and 255 strikeouts over 244.2 innings. He made 25 starts at AAA (3.68 ERA and 115 strikeouts over 120.0 innings).

Garrett handled himself over 48 games with Miami over the last two games. He posted a 3.63 ERA, 1.183 WHIP, and 246 strikeouts over 247.2 innings. Last year, his arm was trending upward over his first five outings (2.45 ERA and 19 strikeouts over 22.0 innings). The Marlins hung him to dry in his next start (11 runs, 16 baserunners, and four home runs over 4.1 innings). Garrett rose to the occasion by proving to be an asset for the remainder of the year over 25 starts (3.24 ERA, 1.043 WHIP, and 134 strikeouts over 133.1 innings).

He struggled at times against righties (.261 with 17 home runs over 475 at-bats). Garrett was a much better pitcher on the road (6-3 with a 2.85 ERA and 73 strikeouts over 79.0 innings).

His average fastball (90.9) is well below the league average. He gained his edge with his slider (.181 BAA) and cutter (.241 BAA). Garrett battled his curveball (.476 BAA) and changeup (.294 BAA) while throwing his sinker (.275 BAA) as his top pitch.

Fantasy Outlook: Based on his growth in his command (1.6 walks per nine) and reasonable strikeout rate (8.8), Garrett will be a tempting backend arm this year. His pitch ability earns extra points, but he doesn’t have a difference-maker arsenal. His ADP (182 – 75th ranked pitcher) fits his FPGscore (-0.31 – 59th). When looking for upside in this area of drafts, I don’t believe Garrett fits into that category. For someone looking for a potential “safe arm” in a pitcher’s park, his name and stats from 2023 will draw attention. Unfortunately, fantasy leagues aren’t won with last year’s stats. Coin flip.

SP Max Meyer

The Marlins drafted Meyer third overall in the 2020 MLB June Amateur Draft. Over three seasons in college, he went 10-7 with a 2.21 ERA, 0.939 WHIP, and 187 strikeouts over 148.0 innings. The COVID-19 season led to him making only four starts.

Meyer was on the fast track after dominating over 101.9 innings at AA in 2021 (6-3 with a 2.41 ERA and 113 strikeouts). Over parts of two seasons at AAA, he made 14 starts (3.97 ERA, 0.971 WHIP, and 82 strikeouts over 68.0 innings).

Miami gave him two starts in 2022 (five runs, nine baserunners, and two home runs over six innings), but Meyer blew out his right elbow, which required TJ surgery in August. His average fastball (95.6) has plenty of life while working off an elite slider.

Fantasy Outlook: With 19 months of recovery time, Meyer will undoubtedly make the Marlins starting rotation out of spring training. He has a high upside arm, with some work needed on his command and changeup. His ADP (430) will rise in March once Meyer steps on the mound in spring training. He should have an innings cap this year due to pitching only 61.0 innings over the past two seasons. Meyer starts the year at age 25, so it is showtime to begin his major league career. You gotta fight for the right to party ~ Beastie Boys.

SP Ryan Weathers

Weathers had some success at the lower levels of the minors (3.76 ERA, 1.263 WHIP, and 119 strikeouts over 124.1 innings), earning him a shot with the Padres in 2021. He flashed in a couple of games but finished with a 5.32 ERA and 72 strikeouts over 94.2 innings.

Last year, Weathers pitched well over seven starts for Miami at AAA (4-0 with a 2.54 ERA, 1.077 WHIP, and 38 strikeouts over 39.0 innings) after a midseason trade from San Diego. Unfortunately, he continued to struggle in the majors in 2023 (1-8 with a 6.55 ERA and 43 strikeouts over 57.2 innings).

His average fastball (95.1) showed more life while offering one pitch of value (slider – .186 BAA). Weathers also throws a four-seamer (.287 BAA) and changeup (.278 BAA).

Fantasy Outlook: Weathers won’t be drafted in any league. He flashed last year, giving him a chance to improve in 2024. His first obstacle is throwing more strikes.


RP Tanner Scott

Scott started to find his way in 2018 and 2019 at AAA (2.51 ERA with 70 strikeouts over 57.1 innings). The Orioles gave him chances in the majors over this span, but his arm fell short of expectations (5.20 ERA over 79.2 innings with 113 strikeouts). Scott’s failure comes from a massive walk rate (5.5). He showed improvement in 2020 (1.31 ERA and 23 strikeouts over 20.2 innings) while losing his way again in 2021 (5.17 ERA).

In 2022, Scott walked 6.6 batters per nine innings, leading to repeated weakness in his ERA (4.31) and WHIP (1.612). He finished with the highest strikeout rate (12.9) of his career while somehow securing 20 saves for Baltimore. His best-run closing games came from June 2nd to August 31st (3.86 ERA, 1.514 WHIP, .217 BAA, and 48 strikeouts over 35 innings). His only month of value came in June (3-1 with a 2.53 ERA, 20 strikeouts, and six saves over 10.2 innings).

After more struggles last April (5.25 ERA, 12 strikeouts, and two saves over 12.0 innings), Scott found the fountain of command, highlighted by walking only 10 batters over his final 52.0 innings (1.7) and electric jump in his first pitch strike rate (69.4 – 54.6 over his previous six seasons) for the year. He shaved off 3.8 walks per nine from 2022, with no uptick in his already high strikeout rate (12.0). Over his final 60.2 innings, Scott posted a 1.48 ERA, 0.940 WHIP, .194 BAA, 82 strikeouts, and 10 saves).

Scott continues to have a plus fastball (96.7 mph). Batters struggled to hit his slider (.166 – .233 BAA in 2022) and four-seamer (.212 – .242 BAA in 2022).

Fantasy Outlook: The massive correction in Scott’s walk rate is even more impressive by his sudden ability to throw the ball off the plate. His previous command rate invited plenty of disaster innings via free passes, but it appears Scott understands better what makes him tick and has improved his mechanics and thought process to throw more strikes.

Andrew Miller walked 5.3 batters per nine over his first 430.1 innings in the majors before turning into a dominating reliever over the following three seasons (17-6 with a 1.63 ERA, 0.785 WHIP, .153 BAA, 318 strikeouts, and 50 saves over 198.2 innings). Scott appears to be on a similar path. His ADP (95) ranks him as the 15th closer drafted in the high-stakes market in early February. Miami will play in many close games, and Scott has 32 saves over the past two seasons. He seems like a gamble, but this arm looks to be on the rise. Possible 100+ strikeouts and 30+ saves.

RP A.J. Puk

After one appearance on April 5th (no runs over 3.1 innings with four strikeouts) in 2021, Puk landed on the injured list with a biceps issue. His arm offered no value at AAA (6.10 ERA over 48.2 innings). In August, with the A’s, he made some progress (4.15 ERA and 10 strikeouts over 8.2 innings), but Oakland parked him in the barn after three poor games in September (five runs, nine baserunners, and two strikeouts over 1.1 innings).

In 2022, Puk made it through the year healthy, with his only missed time coming from COVID-19 in mid-April. He improved his walk rate (3.1) while maintaining a high strikeout rate (10.3). His best stats came before the All-Star break (2.35 ERA, 0.965 WHIP, and 41 strikeouts over 38.1 innings). Puk still has work to do vs. right-handed batters (.252 BAA with 19 walks over 159 at-bats).

The Marlins gave Puk the majority of saves before the All-Star break, leading to flashes of upside. He converted 13 of his first 15 save tries, with a winning first three months (2.88 ERA, 1.040 WHIP, and 28 strikeouts over 25.0 innings). After a poor July (11 runs, 19 baserunners, and four home runs over 9.2 innings), Puk didn’t record another save despite a rebound in his arm (2.45 ERA and 31 strikeouts over 22.0 innings).

His average fastball (95.9) came in below 2022 (96.2). Puk offered a plus slider (.227 BAA) and four-seamer (.237 BAA) while adding a show-me split-finger (.200 BAA) that he only threw 19 times to right-handed batters (none over the final two months).

Fantasy Outlook: Puk has an explosive arm, highlighted by his best strikeout rate (12.4) and lowest walk rate (2.1) of his career. Home runs (10 over 56.2 innings) were an issue, and right-handed batters (.261 with seven home runs over 153 at-bats) banged him around at times. Puk has an ADP of 378 in the high-stakes market. If Tanner Scott has any regression in his command, Puk should get another chance in the ninth inning. He must solve his issues with home runs to keep the job.

RP Andrew Nardi

Nardi pitched well over four seasons in the minors (11-5 with a 2.75 ERA, 180 strikeouts, and 14 saves over 124.1 innings). At AAA, he walked 4.6 batters per nine while matching his career average in his strikeout rate (13.0).

His initial experience in the majors in 2022 didn’t go well. Nardi allowed 16 runs, 39 baserunners, and five home runs over 14.2 innings due to allowing 8.6 walks per nine. Last year, he proved to be a valuable arm for Miami. Nardi went 8-1 with a 2.67 ERA, 1.151 WHIP, and 73 strikeouts with three saves.

He featured a 94.6 mph four-seam fastball (.215 BAA). His slider (.192 BAA) was an elite pitch while tossing a minimal usage changeup (no hits over 15 pitches).

Fantasy Outlook: Nardi has some closing experience and is the third Miami reliever to throw many more strikes last year. His next step is to lower some of his damage with home runs. He has a trending arm that isn’t far from the ninth inning if his command holds up.

About Shawn Childs 970 Articles
Shawn Childs has been a high stakes Fantasy baseball and football player since 2004 where he had success in his first season (three titles and $25,000 in winnings). In early years of the high stakes market in Fantasy baseball, he was ahead of the curve in player evaluation, draft value, and free agent bidding setting up four top-five finishes in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has four AL-only Auction titles, one NL-only title, and five Main Event titles plus an overall title in 2012 at RTFBC (netted $10,000). This success led to an induction into the NFBC Baseball Hall of Fame. His success in the high stakes market led to a career in providing Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football content. On the football side, he’s competed and won in all different formats – auctions, draft championship, main events, and high-dollar leagues. He won 2nd place overall in the 2014 Most Accurate Salary Cap Expert contest at FantasyPros. As a dual-sport player, it was natural to transition to the daily games where he is a “swing for the fences type of guy.” Childs has appeared in one FanDuel NFL Live Final and one DraftKings NFL Live Final, a season-ending tournament which led to a couple of chances to win over $1,000,000.