Pablo Lopez began his rehab stint on Sunday with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. Pablo’s was scheduled to throw 3 innings or 45-pitches (whichever came first) and unfortunately only made it through 1 2/3 innings. He was sitting 92-93mph with his fastball and topping out at 95mph. He used his change-up and slider to record all three of his strike outs. His start didn’t go as well as one would like, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and 45 pitches. Lopez’s stuff didn’t look too out of the norm, but he did note that there was some rust to shake off.
— Luis Davila🌴 (@luisrdavi) July 28, 2019
Facing the Pensacola Blue Wahoos lineup, he got to face some of the Minnesota Twins best prospects. Among them Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff, who are in MLB Pipeline’s top 20 out of their Top 100 prospect list. Post-game Lopez said, “whenever I didn’t execute my pitch, they let me know.”
In the first inning he gave up a run with back to back two-out hits (a single and a double) but ended the threat right after with a ground ball he fielded himself for the out at first base. The second inning is where it got a bit out of hand. Leading off the inning with a hit by pitch, Lopez struck out the next batter but then gave up two singles to load the bases. Royce Lewis then smashed a line drive double off the left field wall to drive in two runs. That was followed up by a wild pitch that scored a fourth run. Lopez was able to strike out the next batter, but he reached his 45-pitch limit and that was the end of his day.
For Lopez this start will serve as a learning experience and a measure of where he was at in his progress back to the big leagues. For anyone worried about his line, don’t fret. “I’m happy my arm felt good, and my body felt good.” Health-wise Pablo is back on track and it is a matter of ramping up his pitches and getting back his feel for his pitches. He expects to make at least two more rehab starts with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
Lopez will be well received by the Marlins rotation that has been struggling in July with a 4.92 ERA. The Marlins pitching depth is being tested by injuries to Lopez himself, Jose Ureña, and with the struggles of Trevor Richards, who is now pitching out of the bullpen. Zac Gallen, Elieser Hernandez, and Jordan Yamamoto all have shined at times, but Lopez will come in with some more experience and long-term success.