After a strange 2020 season, the 2021 MLB season will be starting on time. Currently, teams are slated to play all 162 games which means pitchers’ workloads will return to normal. More innings and more batters on more teams mean pitchers will actually have time to ramp up, unlike in 2020. During spring training, teams will need to start getting a feel for what their rotations might be. Here is an early look at the Miami Marlins projected 2021 pitching rotation.
1. Sandy Alcantara
Sandy Alcantara has the distinction of actually leading the MLB in losses (14) in 2019, and still making the All-Star Game. His ERA was 3.88 that season over 197.1 innings of work, including two shutout games, which was tied for the best in the league.
In his seven starts in 2020, he pitched 42 innings and collected an ERA of 3.00. The Marlins returned to the postseason last season, in large part due to his work on the mound. He deserves to be Miami’s Opening Day starter, and may become their bona fide ace down the road.
2. Pablo Lopez
A great second option comes in the form of Pablo Lopez. He took on a heavy workload in the pandemic-shortened season, starting 11 games and pitched almost 60 innings. He turned that into a 3.66 ERA, which is really nice considering his age.
Lopez can easily earn his sport int he rotation back, but has a few more things to prove over another full season as the Marlins continue their rebuild. Being already ahead of schedule works in Lopez’s favor though, as he has more room to prove himself.
3. Sixto Sanchez
Sanchez was another in a long line of pitchers who had to make their debut during the strangest season in MLB history. He impressed during his short time on the mound, pitching 39 innings over seven starts and collecting an ERA of 3.46.
He needs more work to be placed anywhere in the rotation permanently, but he is a promising prospect that showed he can perform well under pressure. If Sanchez’s numbers can be extended over 162 games, then third in the rotation is perfect for him.
4. Trevor Rogers
Rogers’ rookie season was nothing to write home about. A 6.11 ERA over 28 innings may not inspire confidence, but it is hard to ignore the circumstances around the season. Plus, ERAs can get massively inflated or deflated over short workloads.
His strikeout numbers are decent, but he needs to work on his walks per nine innings, while also stop giving up so many hits. If control is his issue, then 162 games should temper that somewhat, if not tell the Marlins it’s time to drop him out of the rotation.
5. Elieser Hernandez
Hernandez’s numbers have slowly improved over his career, which started in 2018. Of course, over a smaller sample size, his ERA has lowered by more than 2.00 in 2020 from his rookie year. He belongs at the end of the rotation, rounding out the incredible youth of this roster. Surprisingly, he would be one of the most veteran presences, which means the Marlins are doing well with their rebuild and have plenty of young talent to evaluate.
Featured Image courtesy of Mark Brown/Getty Images
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