Pablo López (baseball)

Pablo José López Serra (born March 7, 1996) is a Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher for the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2018 with the Miami Marlins. In the 2023 offseason, he was traded to the Twins.

Pablo López
López with the Miami Marlins in 2019
Minnesota Twins – No. 49
Born: (1996-03-07) March 7, 1996 (age 27)
Cabimas, Venezuela
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
MLB debut
June 30, 2018, for the Miami Marlins
MLB statistics
(through 2023 season)
Win–loss record39–39
Earned run average3.86
Career highlights and awards
  • All-Star (2023)
  • MLB Record most consecutive strikeouts to start a game (9)

Early life edit

López was raised in Venezuela by his father, Danny,[1] and his mother, Agnedis,[2] both of whom were doctors.[3] López graduated high school at age 16, where he became fluent in English, Italian and Portuguese, and was then accepted into medical school.[2] Around the same time, he received a contract offer from the Seattle Mariners. He chose to pursue baseball instead of a medical career, to mixed reactions from his family.[3]

Career edit

Seattle Mariners edit

López signed with the Seattle Mariners as an international free agent in July 2012. He made his professional debut in 2013 with the VSL Mariners and spent the whole season there, going 7–1 with a 2.57 ERA in 12 starts. He missed all of 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.[4] He returned in 2015 with the AZL Mariners, going 2–1 with a 3.13 ERA in 37+13 innings pitched. He spent 2016 with the Clinton LumberKings where was compiled a 7–1 record, 2.13 ERA, and 0.91 WHIP in 17 games (13 starts), and he began 2017 with the Modesto Nuts.

Miami Marlins edit

On July 20, 2017, the Mariners traded López, along with Brayan Hernandez, Brandon Miller and Lukas Schiraldi to the Miami Marlins for David Phelps.[5] Miami assigned him to the Jupiter Hammerheads where he finished the season. In 27 games (24 starts) between the two teams, he was 5–11 with a 4.15 ERA and a .271 batting average against.[6]

The Marlins added López to their 40-man roster after the 2017 season.[7] He began 2018 with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp and was promoted to the New Orleans Baby Cakes in early June.

López was promoted to the major leagues on June 30, 2018, and he made his MLB debut that same day as the starting pitcher at Marlins Park versus the New York Mets.[8] He pitched six innings in which he gave up two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out five, earning the win as Miami defeated the Mets 5–2.[9]

In June 2019, López suffered a mild right shoulder strain[10] that led to a two-month stint on the injured list. Overall that season, he was 5–8 with a 5.09 ERA in 21 starts.

In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, López was 6–4 with a 3.61 ERA in eleven starts and struck out 59 batters in 57+13 innings.

On July 11, 2021, in a game against the Atlanta Braves, López set a Major League record by striking out the first nine batters of the game.[11] López struck out Ehire Adrianza, Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Orlando Arcia, Dansby Swanson, Guillermo Heredia, Kevan Smith, and Ian Anderson on 35 pitches during the first, second, and third innings.[12] He finished the 2021 season with a 5–5 record, a 3.07 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 102+23 innings over 20 starts.

López's salary for the 2022 season was decided via the arbitration process; he had asked for $3 million, and received $2.45 million.[13]

On January 13, 2023, López agreed to a one-year, $5.45 million contract with the Marlins, avoiding salary arbitration.[14]

Minnesota Twins edit

On January 20, 2023, the Marlins traded López, José Salas, and Byron Chourio to the Minnesota Twins for Luis Arráez.[15]

On April 21, 2023, the Twins and López agreed to a four-year, $73.5 million contract extension, keeping López in a Twins uniform through the 2027 season. At the midseason of the 2023 season, Lopez was for the first time selected for the American League roster in the 2023 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[16]

Pitching style edit

López's fastball velocity generally sits between 92–95 miles per hour (148–153 km/h), maxing out around 97 miles per hour (156 km/h). He uses both a four-seam fastball and sinker. His secondary pitches are the changeup that averages 86 miles per hour (138 km/h) and a curveball that averages 80 miles per hour (130 km/h).[17]

Personal life edit

Lopez graduated first in his high school class with a grade-point average of 19.8 on a scale of 1 to 20. After he aced a standardized test, he was accepted to medical school in Venezuela at 16 years old. Both of his parents are doctors, but he chose his love of baseball instead, stating, "The body, as you grow older, gets weaker. The mind just gets stronger. Baseball is a one-time opportunity. That was my thought process. I could always go back to school." During his time in the Seattle Mariners farm system, Lopez became fluent in four languages: Spanish, English, Portuguese (when conversing with Brazilian teammates) and Italian, though he said he's 'rusty'. His sister is a lawyer and his brother is an engineer.[18]

References edit

  1. ^ Frisaro, Joe (June 16, 2019). "Lopez salutes doctor-dad for baseball fever". Major League Baseball. Retrieved June 18, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Martinez, Andy (May 27, 2019). "Miami's López carries mom's memory to prominence". La Vida Baseball. Retrieved June 18, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Spencer, Clark (July 12, 2018). "Marlins pitcher Pablo Lopez is one smart rookie". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on July 13, 2018.
  4. ^ "Who are the prospects the Marlins got for David Phelps?". Sun Sentinel. July 20, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  5. ^ "Marlins trade David Phelps to Mariners for four prospects". Miami Herald.
  6. ^ "Pablo Lopez Stats, Highlights, Bio - Stats - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  7. ^ Healey, Tim (November 21, 2017). "Marlins make trade with Yankees, add four other players to 40-man roster".
  8. ^ "Pablo Lopez to make MLB debut for Marlins".
  9. ^ "Pablo Lopez wins MLB debut for Marlins".
  10. ^ "Lopez, Fish get relatively good news on injury". Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  11. ^ "Marlins' López fans first 9, sets MLB record". Major League Baseball. July 11, 2021. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  12. ^ McPherson, Jordan (July 11, 2021). "Miami Marlins' Pablo Lopez breaks MLB record for consecutive strikeouts to start a game". Miami Herald. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  13. ^ "Miami Marlins' Pablo López, Milwaukee Brewers' Adrian Houser lose arbitration cases". Associated Press. May 25, 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  14. ^ "2023 MLB Arbitration Tracker". MLBTradeRumors. Retrieved January 13, 2023.
  15. ^ Passan, Jeff (January 20, 2023). "Marlins acquire All-Star Luis Arraez in trade with Twins".
  16. ^ "Sonny Gray, Pablo Lopez, ex-Twins shine in All-Star Game". Sports Illustrated Minnesota Sports, News, Analysis, and More. July 11, 2023.
  17. ^ "Pablo Lopez Statcast, Visuals & Advanced Metrics |". Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  18. ^ Spencer, Clark (July 12, 2018). "This Marlins rookie could have become a doctor. Instead, he chose baseball. Here's why". Miami Herald. Retrieved October 4, 2023.

External links edit