The Return of the Cookie Monster-April 21, 2022
Carlos Carrasco went 7.2 IP and gave up 2 ER on 4 H, 0 BB, and 7 K’s against the Giants. He has been brilliant to start the year and looks like vintage Carrasco. He has a 1.47 ERA and 0.60 WHIP. Carrasco is missing bats (33% K) and gettings swinging strikes (16% SwStr). He is throwing his fastball less often in favor of more offspeed pitches which is a good strategy for him. It is important to keep in mind that Carrasco hasn’t pitched more than 80 IP in a season since 2018. This is going to limit his innings total this year but if healthy, Carrasco should provide excellent value.
Paul Blackburn went 5 IP and gave up 1 ER on 3 H, 0 BB, and 4 K’s against the Orioles. Blackburn is now 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 0.80 WHIP through his first three starts. He is displaying increased velocity and a pitch mix change. His fastball velocity is currently sitting at 92.3 mph which would be a career-high. He has also changed his pitch mix to include fewer fastballs and more offspeed pitches. Blackburn has also changed the shape of his curveball which has helped it become a very effective pitch. He also benefits from pitching in a great home park for pitchers. This has moved beyond Blackburn being a streamer to someone that needs to be rostered to figure out real this is.
Jesus Sanchez was 2-3 with an HR (3), 3 R, 1 RBI, and 1 BB against the Cardinals. Sanchez has been red hot to start the year. He is hitting .356 with 3 HR, 9 R, 9 RBI, and 0 SB. Sanchez came into the year with fairly big expectations coming off his small sample in 2021 (.251 AVG and 14 HR in 64 GP). He has improved his strikeout rate (23% K) which is a good sign but it is a small sample. The concern is that he has hit 3 HR and has a .311 ISO but that has come on just 22% FB. Sanchez isn’t going to steal bases so he needs to hit for power and to hit for power he needs to hit the ball in the air. This is something to keep an eye on over the next couple of weeks because his .419 BABIP is unlikely to continue and we are going to see his average dip.
Jordan Romano-Blue Jays-RP
Jordan Romano picked up his league-leading seventh save in the Blue Jays win. He has a 1.29 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. The results have been excellent and no one is complaining about what they have gotten from Romano so far. However, if we are trying to stay on top of the latest trends it is important to point out that his strikeouts are down (23% K) and so is his velocity (-1.6 mph) to 96 mph. He is getting the job done and isn’t in any danger of losing his job but this is something to keep a close eye on if you are a Romano owner or someone looking to speculate if the Blue Jays closer job was to open up.
Anthony DeSclafani went 5 IP and gave up 5 ER on 9 H, 1 BB, and 4 K’s against the Mets. He now has a 6.08 ERA and 1.80 WHIP through three starts. He has been hurt by a .444 BABIP. The best indicators early in the year are strikeout and walks rates which DeSclafani looks just fine (23% K) and (3% BB). However, there are real concerns when looking at his drop in swinging strikes (9% SwStr) and drop in velocity (92.0 mph). His fastball did not garner a single whiff and got crushed (102 average exit velocity). It’s too early to cut bait but he is someone to keep a close eye on because the early indicators are not good.
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