“They both throw with great arm speed, and there’s no sense of ‘I’m going to try to place this pitch,’” Stottlemyre mentioned. “They’ve kept power at the forefront, so they maximize their movement and their finish to the pitch. They’re special.”
The pitches, sure, but additionally the individuals. When Stottlemyre’s father Mel Sr., the longtime pitcher and coach, died of a number of myeloma in January 2019, Alcantara and López each referred to as to console him. Stottlemyre, who had only recently joined the Marlins, has since helped each pitchers by their private trials.
“Sharing what that feels like, being able to have that inspire and give purpose and meaning to everything you do — we’ve all three spent a lot of time talking about that,” mentioned Stottlemyre, who’s 58. “It hurt me, too, watching them, because I only know how I handled my dad’s death. And to be young? I got to live with my dad for almost all of my life, and to experience all the great times. That got taken away from them.”
Stottlemyre acknowledges his father’s affect in the way in which he speaks together with his pitchers. He invests time in constructing relationships, incomes their affection — the pitchers put on T-shirts calling themselves “Stott’s Tots” — and belief. He has opened up about his youthful brother, Jason, who died of leukemia in 1981, and mentioned he has by no means been as shut to 2 pitchers as he’s to Alcantara and López.
“I see him not only as a pitching coach,” López mentioned, “but also as a father figure and a great role model.”
López’s father inspired him to pursue a professional profession with the Seattle Mariners at 16 years previous, when he had one other heady choice: medical college at La Universidad del Zulia, his dad and mom’ alma mater. López had graduated from highschool at age 15 — mastering 4 languages alongside the way in which — and his mom’s facet of the household cautioned that the baseball world could possibly be very unsure. Danny reasoned that medical college might all the time be a backup plan for baseball, however not the opposite means round. That logic gained out, although López has struggled at occasions with the burdens of excessive achievement.