Cabrera shows off new pitch, makes play at rotation in ST debut

March 28th, 2022

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Edward Cabrera strengthened his case to break camp as a member of the Marlins' starting rotation with his performance in Monday's 8-1 victory over the Nationals.

In his first Grapefruit League appearance, the 23-year-old right-hander tossed three scoreless, hitless innings, striking out three while walking one and doing so against what has the potential to be the Nationals' Opening Day lineup.

“To be honest, I was a little bit excited,” Cabrera said via a translator. “I was able to handle my emotions and control the game.”

Cabrera, Miami's No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, is the least-experienced of the Marlins' hurlers under consideration for the rotation. The righty turned heads last season with an impressive Major League debut, recording a quality start to help Miami end an eight-game skid. Though he arrived late to camp, Cabrera feels like he's all caught up -- and his stuff seems to agree.

This spring, Cabrera is focused on developing better control of his slider and his sinker, which he has yet to throw in the Majors, but he is working on adding to what is already a four-pitch arsenal. In 2021, Cabrera leaned most heavily on his four-seamer (38.8%), followed by his changeup (23.4%) and his slider (21.8%). Though he threw his curveball for just 16% of his pitches last season, it garnered the second-highest strikeout rate (29.4%), just behind his slider (31.3%).

By adding a second fastball to his arsenal (the sinker), Cabrera stands to benefit even more from his offspeed pitches. On Monday, Cabrera liked the feel of both his slider and his sinker, a sign his hard work is paying off.

“It feels good when you have that type of success,” Cabrera said. “The work I've been doing during practice on the back fields -- I took it to the field right here. It came out right.”