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Updates on Neidert, Devers, Lopez

@JoeFrisaro
August 22, 2019

ATLANTA -- At the start of the season, Nick Neidert was the Marlins' top pitching prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. But right knee surgery sidelined him for about three months. Now recovered, the 22-year-old right-hander is showing flashes of why he is one of the Marlins’ top overall prospects. Neidert

ATLANTA -- At the start of the season, Nick Neidert was the Marlins' top pitching prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. But right knee surgery sidelined him for about three months.

Now recovered, the 22-year-old right-hander is showing flashes of why he is one of the Marlins’ top overall prospects.

Neidert threw six shutout innings, while striking out 10 and not issuing a walk on Tuesday for Triple-A New Orleans.

Currently Miami's No. 12 prospect, Neidert had surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Since returning, he's 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in four games in August. In 23 innings, he has 26 strikeouts and eight walks.

With just 46 1/3 total innings in 11 starts at three levels this year, the Marlins are weighing whether to send Neidert to the Arizona Fall League.

The Marlins are seeking ways to increase Neidert’s innings, and the AFL is a way to do that. Another option is sending him to winter ball.

Jose Devers is in a similar situation. Miami’s No. 11 prospect has missed most of the season due to a right forearm strain.

Devers is a left-handed-hitting shortstop who opened the season at Class A Advanced Jupiter. He played in 32 games for the Hammerheads, batting .325/.385/.366.

The 19-year-old Devers is on rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Marlins. In seven games, he’s hitting .286 with a .333 on-base percentage, one double and one triple. On Thursday, Devers served as the designated hitter and led off, going 1-for-4 with a walk in a 9-3 win over the GCL Cardinals.

Lopez close to returning

The next time Pablo López (right shoulder strain) takes the mound, it could be with the Marlins. The 23-year-old had an encouraging rehab assignment on Wednesday for New Orleans, giving up two runs (one earned) on eight hits with five strikeouts in six innings.

“It’s good to see Pablo get out and look more like himself,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Again, we’ll discuss where he fits in at this point.”

The Marlins are considering returning Lopez to the rotation before the September callup period. The earliest he would be lined up to be back with Miami is on Sunday against the Phillies at Marlins Park.

Making solid contact

Center fielder Lewis Brinson is focusing on making solid contact, so much so that he isn’t worrying too much, at this point, about his exit velocity, which is considerably lower than in the past.

Brinson possesses immense power, reflected by the 16 home runs and .510 slugging percentage he showed in 81 games at Triple-A New Orleans this season. But with the Marlins, his average exit velocity, according to Statcast, is 85.8 mph. The MLB average is 88.5 mph. A year ago, his average exit speed was 89.2 mph. His hard-hit percentage also is down, to 30.4 percent, from 39.2 percent in 2018.

“Obviously, I’m trying to cut down on strikeouts,” said Brinson, who has a 30.8 percent strikeout rate. “I’m trying to cut down on my swing a little bit and make more contact. I know homers are going to come. I’m not worried about that. But I’m just trying to put the ball in play more. I’ve haven’t paid attention to exit velocity, so if that takes a toll, I know it’s in here. So I’m not worried about it.”

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.