In one of the offseason’s most interesting moves, the Twins sent reigning batting champ Luis Arraez to the Marlins in exchange for Pablo Lopez. The logic was simple: the Twins have a surplus of productive hitters, but have struggled for years to complement their strong lineup with an equally productive pitching rotation. As a Marlin, Lopez established himself as a potential hidden ace—with the right tweaks, it was easy to imagine Lopez leveling up to become an elite hurler. Although his stats were always merely good rather than outstanding, he threw five distinct pitches, all of which boasted elite vertical movement.
So far, the Twins, like the Marlins, have not yet figured out how to unlock the best version of Lopez. He’s been solid, good even, just as he has been for years. His 4.11 ERA is inoffensive, albeit a skosh below his usual standard; his underlying metrics are superb, yet haven’t translated into superb actual results. What makes the Lopez especially frustrating, though, is that Arraez has absolutely raked in Florida, posting a MLB-best .376 batting average and .432 on base percentage.
This was prior to tonight's game.
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