Red Sox rumors: Boston discussing pitchers and infielders with Marlins

Edward Cabrera #27 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on August 05, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Edward Cabrera #27 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on August 05, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Which Marlins pitcher best fits the Red Sox?

Edward Cabrera is entering his age-25 season. After seven miserable starts in 2021, he showed much improvement in 2022, gaining better control over the strike zone. He still walks more hitters than 90% of pitchers, but a 11.3 BB% in 2022 was better than a 15.8% in 2021. His strikeouts also improved from an already solid 23.3 K% to an impressive 25.8 K%. His HR/9 fell from 2.1 to 1.3. Overall, these improvements led to a 3.01 ERA, 4.59 FIP, 4.1 BB/9, and 9.4 K/9 in 14 starts and 71.2 innings.

Batted ball data supports the change in Cabrera’s home run rate, as his 47.8 Hard Hit% fell to 33.3%  in 2022, which was in the 83rd percentile (per Baseball Savant). His SwStr% (percentage of swings and misses) improved from 11.8% to 13.3%, and his Whiff% increased from 27.3% to 31.2% (86th percentile).

Still, with such a high number of walks, the question has to be asked – how valuable is Edward Cabrera if he can’t limit his walks? He improved his ERA and FIP in 2022, and his 4.12 xFIP shows that his HR/FB% could still drop in 2023. At 24, Cabrera would be a good fit for the Red Sox as a backend starter with room to develop.

Trevor Rogers is a former NL Rookie of the Year runner-up who finished with a 2.64 ERA, 2.55 FIP, 3.1 BB/9, and 10.6 K/9 in 2021. 2022 was very different, as he posted a 5.47 ERA, 4.35 FIP, 3.8 BB/9, and 8.9 K/9 in 107.0 IP. The tale of two Rogers makes him a more unreliable acquisition – unless the Red Sox can fix him.

Rogers FIP shows that he wasn’t really as bad as his ERA suggests. A 9.8 H/9 can account for a higher run total, but it’s a bit hard to pinpoint the exact reason for such a high number of hits – his BABIP increased from .307 to .330 and his 13.2 HR/FB% is a little higher than expected, but neither of these were glaring issues. Unless he’s the cheapest option, Rogers is an underwhelming acquisition who has a positive track record.

Jesús Luzardo finally broke out in 2022, as the former top prospect posted a 3.32 ERA, 3.13 FIP, 3.1 BB/9, and 10.8 K/9 in 2022. Luzardo hit the 60-day IL due to a left forearm strain, but it didn’t seem to slow him down, as he was even better after returning from his injury in August (3.03 ERA, 2.87 FIP). He finished his season on October 3rd with a 6 inning, 12 strikeout, 0 ER masterpiece against the Atlanta Braves.

It’s a bit of a small sample size to rely on Luzardo. The strikeouts have always been there, but he had to figure out how to limit his Home Runs and walks – he figured it out. His fastball velocity ticked up from 95.8 to 94.6 as the wOBA from the pitch fell from .450 to .306.

His changeup became one of his best pitches after lowering its usage. His Hard Hit% of 39.1% (39th percentile) is high, but it didn’t affect his Home Run rate in 2022. This was the first season that Luzardo has topped 100 innings, so Luzardo has to prove he can sustain his success across a full season.

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