Hammerheads' Cabrera posts zeros again

Miami's No. 8 prospect blanks Clearwater over six one-hit innings

Edward Cabrera has pitched four scoreless starts of at least five innings this season. (Amanda Seimer/Jupiter Hammerheads)

By Joe Bloss / MiLB.com | June 5, 2019 4:50 PM

The Edward Cabrera that was pretty much untouchable in the Florida State League for the better part of April and May is back.

The No. 8 Marlins prospect blanked Class A Advanced Clearwater over six innings of one-hit ball, leading Jupiter to a 1-0 win at Spectrum Field on Wednesday afternoon. The right-hander struck out five and walked two, tossing his first scoreless start since May 8 to lower his ERA to 2.59. He threw first-pitch strikes to 14 of the 19 batters he faced.

Gameday box score

"Once he gets ahead of you," Jupiter pitching coach Reid Cornelius said, "he's got three weapons he can put you away with."

Cabrera's curveball was most crucial of the three.

"He threw it in the zone for strikes to get ahead," Cornelius said. "And then he could bury it for chases and throw it at the bottom of the zone to lock guys up. It was just really good for him today and he threw it quite a bit. The changeup has got some good action of its own. It looks like his fastball then all of a sudden it has a little dip to it at the plate, almost like a split. Of course, the fastball gets on you. You gotta be ready. It's tough to cover all three of those pitches."

The Threshers did not seem ready, as Cabrera (5-2) faced the minimum his first time through the order. He struck out four and got some help from catcher Nick Forbes, who threw out No. 18 Phillies prospect Nick Maton after the shortstop walked in the second and attempted to swipe second base.

The Dominican Republic native then buckled down after giving a free pass to 12th-ranked Phillies prospect Simon Muzziotti to begin the fourth. He got top Phillies prospect Alec Bohm to pop out on the first pitch and 11-ranked Jhailyn Ortiz to ground to third before freezing Matt Kroon on an 0-2 pitch for the final out of the frame.

The first hit off the 21-year-old came in the fifth, a two-out single hit softly to shortstop by Ben Aklinski. He too was later thrown out by Fortes while attempting to steal a bag.

2019 MiLB include

A nine-pitch sixth capped Cabrera's fifth scoreless outing of 2019. He hasn't allowed a home run since his season opener on April 5 and appears to have recovered the form that allowed him to throw 28 consecutive innings without allowing a run earlier this year, a streak that included a 13-strikeout gem. Opponents are now batting .197 against him, which if maintained over the rest of the season would be the first sub-.200 average against he's posted in his four years as a pro. His best so far was a .270 last year in a career-high 100 1/3 innings for Class A Greensboro.

Staying in rhythm on the mound has been Cornelius' consistent message to Cabrera. The pitcher can try too hard to reach triple-digits on the radar gun. Sometimes it works, but other times -- like when he allowed 10 hits and three walks to Florida three weeks ago -- it causes him to throw more side-to-side than the desired front-to-back delivery.

"He doesn't have to be max effort to throw the ball," the coach said. "That's the bottom line. Young guys a lot of time will feel like, 'I want to elevate a fastball, I have to throw it harder.' No, you have to throw a good pitch up there."

Josh Roeder took the ball for two innings after Cabrera's exit, striking out two and surrendering one hit. Chad Smith earned his second save with a clean ninth inning.

Demetrius Sims scored the game's only run by taking Julian Garcia deep to left on the first pitch of the third for his third home run of the season.

Joe Bloss is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jtbloss. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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