San Diego Padres
San Diego missed the playoffs for the 11th straight season. Their last winning season came in 2011 (90-72). They’ve made the World Series twice in the 49 years in the league.
The Padres fell to 22nd in ERA (4.67) while allowing 46 more runs than 2016 (770). Their relievers finished 24th in bullpen ERA (4.49). San Diego only scored 604 runs (30th), which was 82 fewer than 2016 (686). They placed 21st in home runs (189).
The only to losses to free agency were SS Erick Aybar and P Jhoulys Chacin. The Padres acquired 3B Chase Headley and P Bryan Mitchell from the Yankees for OF Jabari Blash. This deal was just a salary dump by New York. San Diego added SS Freddie Galvis in exchange for P Enyel De Los Santos. They signed P Tyson Ross to compete for a starting job in the rotation. 1B Allen Craig will try to win a bench role after signing a minor league deal. The Padres signed 1B Eric Hosmer in late February to help improve their infield defense and the middle of the batting order.
Overall, the Padres look to be in better shape heading into 2018 than 2017. They still have weakness in their starting lineup, their starting rotation, and their bullpen setting up another last-place finish in the NL West.
1. OF Manuel Margot
Margot finished with a nice combination of HRs (13) and SBs (17) in his first year in the league. Over his first 185 at-bats, he hit .259 with four HRs, 13 RBI, and five SBs before landing on the DL for a month with a calf injury. Manuel played better in July (.310 with four HRs, eight RBI, and four SBs) while losing value over the last two months (.236 with five HRs, 16 RBI, and six SBs). His K rate (20.0) was about league average (20.3) with a short walk rate (6.6). Margot played better vs. lefties (.285 with three HRs and 13 RBI over 123 at-bats). His CTBA (.336) was near the top of his minor league range while his average hit rate (1.555) almost match 2014 (1.577) and 2015 (1.521) in the minors. Over six seasons in the minors, Margot hit .287 with 29 HRs, 234 RBI, and 164 SBs over 1,841 at bats. Manuel had a league average walk rate (8.1) in the minors with a much stronger K rate (11.5). IN 2018, his approach should improve pushing his batting average in a favorable area. His runs are at the mercy of the lineup behind him. Let’s look at him as .280+ hitter with 80+ runs, mid-teen HRs, 55+ RBI, and 30+ SBs.
Update: The addition of Hosmer should help Margot in the run department.
2. OF Alex Dickerson
Dickerson handled himself well over 253 at-bats in his rookie season in 2016. He hit .257 with 39 runs, 10 HRs, and 37 RBI. Alex had a favorable K rate (15.4) and upside in his walk rate (9.1). He had more power (nine HRs in 193 at-bats) against RH pitching while being league average against lefties (.267). Over six seasons in the minors, Dickerson hit .309 with 58 HRs, 325 RBI, and 26 SBs over 1926 at bats. His walk rate (8.0) was league average in the minors with just above the league average K rate (19.0). He lost most of the 2014 season in the minors due to a bad ankle injury that required surgery and all of 2017 with a back injury that required surgery in late June. Dickerson has a high enough AVH (1.627 at AAA in 2016) to deliver more than 20 HRs with a full season of at-bats. His CTBA (.311) was well below his minor-league success (.437 in 2016 at AAA) suggesting more strength in his batting average. A chance of 80+ runs, 20+ HRs, and 80+ RBI with upside in his batting average if Alex can earn a full time starting job. In mid-February, it is too early to tell if Dickerson would be able to be ready for the start of the season.
3. 1B Eric Hosmer
Hosmer will start 2018 at age 28 with 1,132 hits. He should push that number to 1,500 hit by age 30, which gives him a short at 3,000 hits for his career. Last season Eric had a jump in his CTBA (.385) helping him set an all-time high in his batting average (.318). Hosmer still has a weak average hit rate (1.563) due to his propensity to hit a high number of ground balls (58.9 percent in 2016, 55.6 in 2017, and 53.6 in his career). His HR/FB rate (22.5) improved in each of the last two seasons, and it is in an area to produce many more home runs with a better swing path. In 2017, only 22.2 percent of Eric’s balls in play were fly balls. HIs walk rate (9.8) is trending higher with a lower K rate (15.5). Hosmer played at a high level against RH pitching (.335 with 19 HRs and 67 RBI over 409 at-bats) while being above the league average vs. lefties (.284 with five HRs and 27 RBI over 194 at-bats). Even with his ground ball swing, Eric was a special player from the beginning of May through the end of August (.338 with 75 runs, 21 HRs, 70 RBI, and six SBs). There’s a lot to like here, but his lack of loft and change to San Diego does hurt his explosiveness. Getting better as a player while still having a chance to offer a higher production if/when he turns some of his ground balls into line drives and fly balls. Set his bar at .290 with 80+ runs, 20+ HRs, 80+ RBI, and a chance at double-digit steals while hoping for more upside. I like the players hitting in front of him in the batting order better than hitting behind him. Just remember in 2018, Hosmer will face Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Robbie Ray, Rich Hill, and Alex Wood a lot in division games.
4. Hunter Renfroe
Renfroe finished with plenty of HRs (26), but the rest of his ride fell short of being a winning outcome. His CTBA (.338) failed to match his minor league resume with a huge K rate (29.2). Hunter has a massive average hit rate (2.019), which beat his strong minor league career. Before the All-Star break, he hit .231 with 16 HRs and 39 RBI over 316 at-bats. A bad end to July and in early August (.235 with four HRs, eight RBI, and 42 Ks over 115 at-bats) led to a trip back to AAA. Renfroe crushed the ball in the minors (28-for-55 with four HRs and 18 RBI) while flashing power (.244 with six HRs and 11 RBI in 41 at-bats) over the last 11 games in the majors. Hunter was very good against lefties (.316 with 11 HRs and 26 RBI over 114 at-bats), but he needs a lot of works against RH pitching (.202 with 15 HRs and 32 RBI over 331 at-bats) while striking out 117 times. Renfroe has a fly ball swing (45.4) with a high HR/FB rate (18.7). Over five season in the minors, he hit .288 with 81 HRs, 301 RBI, and 24 SBs in 1,771 at-bats. Pure power bat who needs to lower his K rate and find more success vs. RH pitching. Next step: .250 with 70 runs, 30+ HRs, and 80+ RBI.
Update: The latest reports have Renfroe batting Jose Pirela for playing time in left field. There is also the possibility that Hunter gets moved before the start of the season. If he does land the cleanup job, Renfroe had a chance to come to the plate with over 400 runners on base with 500+ at-bats.
5. 3B Chase Headley
Chase has a long list of boring on his major league resume. His only productive year came in 2012 in San Diego (.286 with 31 HRs and 115 RBI) when he learned how to pull the ball. He’s failed to hit more than 14 HRs or drive in more than 65 RBI in each of his last five seasons. His average hit rate (1.486) is well below his best season (1.740), but Headley di have a rebound in his CTBA (.368). Both his walk rate (10.2) and K rate (22.5) fell in line with his career resume. Chase didn’t have one impact month of production while being a better player after the All-Star break (.300 with eight HRs and 25 RBI over 233 at-bats). Headley has a low fly ball rate (33.3) in his career with a low HR/FB rate (10.3). Veteran bat who will be found on the waiver wire in almost all leagues. Only an injury cover with risk in batting average and a 15/60/10 type skill set.
6. C Austin Hedges
Hedges finished with a strong output in power (18 HRs) while repeating his average hit rate (1.855) from 2016 (1.833) in the minors. He missed a couple of weeks in late July with a concussion issue. Austin had a high K rate (29.3), which was well above his minor league career (16.6). His struggles in batting average came against both righties (.215 BAA) and lefties (.214 BAA). Hedges was productive before the All-Star break (.218 with 13 HRs and 40 RBI over 239 at-bats) with emptiness over his last 148 at-bats (.209 with five HRs and 15 RBI). He finished with a fly ball swing (45.7 percent) with a solid HR/FB rate (14.9). Austin hit .270 in his minor league career with 44 HRs, 239 RBI, and 26 SBs over 1,477 at-bats with his best season coming at AAA in 2016 (.326 with 21 HRs and 82 RBI over 313 at-bats). Hedges has more room for growth in all areas. His first step is correcting his strikeout problem. If he plays well, Austin will move up in the batting order. Pencil him in for a .260 BA with 50 runs, 15+ HRs, and 60+ RBI while hoping for 450+ at-bats and more growth.
7. 2B Cory Spangenberg
Spangenberg had his best season in the majors, which led to career highs in at-bats (444), runs (57), HRs (13), RBI (46), and SBs (11). His K rate (26.3) was much too high for his skill set with below par walk rate (7.0). Even with his less than sexy resume, Cory did give Fantasy owners a special run over 129 at-bats (.302 with 19 runs, seven HRs, 22 RBI, and three SBs) early in the summer. Unfortunately, he lacked follow through (.253 over his last 194 at-bats with five HRs, 16 RBI, and five SBs). His struggle with lefties (.197 with two HRs and nine RBI over 122 at-bats) paints him as a platoon player going forward. Cory has a groundball swing (50.4 percent in his career) while setting a career high in his HR/FB rate (15.5). Over five years in the minors, Cory hit .294 with 13 HRs, 165 RBI, and 108 SBs in 1,522 at-bats. His K rate (18.5) and walk rate (7.7) were about league average in the minors. Possible growth in 2018 with better contact. His speed has the most upside if given the green light on the base paths.
8. SS Freddy Galvis
Galvis has been a borderline starter in deep Fantasy leagues over the last two years. His CTBA (.312) has been in a tight range over the last three years while trending down slightly. His approach (K rate – 16.7 and walk rate – 6.8) was the best of his career in 2017. With some growth in walks, Freddy may have a chance to beat near the top of the order in San Diego, which will help his run and RBI. His drop in HRs (12) was tied to shorter AVH (.1497). Galvis hit exacting the same (.255 BAA) vs. RH and LH pitching. Freddy played well before the All-Star break (.251 with ten HRs and 37 RBI over 319 at-bats) before losing his power stroke (.260 with two HRs and 24 RBI over 289 at-bats). His HR/FB rate (6.3) was well below 2016 (12.5). Building a nice floor going forward, possible .250 with 60+ runs, 10+ HRs, 60+ RBI, and 15+ SBs with batting order being the key to his counting stats.
Pirela spent some part of the last five seasons at AAA with reasonable success (.306 with 28 HRs, 142 RBI, and 30 SBs over 1,107 at-bats). He had a good approach at AAA (K rate – 12.0 and walk rate – 7.1). Jose played well in his first chance at regular at-bats in the majors. He posted strength in his CTBA (.373) and AVH (1.700) with a step back in his K rate (20.6). His season ended in mid-September with a finger injury. His HR/FB rate (13.2) was the best of his career at any level, but he did hit a lot of groundballs (47.3 percent). Interesting player who may very be a starter in April if Alex Dickerson isn’t ready. Based on his combined stats at AAA and the majors (80 runs, 23 HRs, 82 RBI, and 12 SBs), I would keep him on your backend radar.
Dickerson handled himself well over 253 at-bats in his rookie season in 2016. He hit .257 with 39 runs, 10 HRs, and 37 RBI. Alex had a favorable K rate (15.4) and upside in his walk rate (9.1). He had more power (nine HRs in 193 at-bats) against RH pitching while being league average against lefties (.267). Over six seasons in the minors, Dickerson hit .309 with 58 HRs, 325 RBI, and 26 SBs over 1926 at bats. His walk rate (8.0) was league average in the minors with just above the league average K rate (19.0). He lost most of the 2014 season in the minors due to a bad ankle injury that required surgery and all of 2017 with a back injury that required surgery in late June. Dickerson has a high enough AVH (1.627 at AAA in 2016) to deliver more than 20 HRs with a full season of at-bats. His CTBA (.311) was well below his minor-league success (.437 in 2016 at AAA) suggesting more strength in his batting average. A chance of 80+ runs, 20+ HRs, and 80+ RBI with upside in his batting average if Alex can earn a full-time starting job. In mid-February, it is too early to tell if Dickerson would be able to be ready for the start of the season.
Update: Dickerson won’t be ready for the start of the 2018 season. With Eric Hosmer added to the roster, the Padres have one fewer outfield job open. Alex will need to show he’s healthy before earning a bench role this year.
Over five seasons in the minors, Asuaje hit .287 with 36 HRs, 286 RBI, and 32 SBs in 1,909 at-bats. His bat flashed major league upside in 2014 (.310 with 15 HRs, 101 RBI, and eight SBs over 480 at-bats) and in 2016 at AAA (.321 with nine HRs, 69 RBI, and ten SBs over 535 at-bats). Carlos has a top of the order walk rate (10.5) and a respectable K rate (14.8). His average hit rate (1.337) was weaker in the majors and well below his 2014 success (1.718). With San Diego, he did strikeout at a high rate (22.2) with a league average walk rate (8.2). His swing had less value against lefties (.230 with one HR and three RBI in 74 at-bats). Nice steady skill set while lacking the speed and pop to separate himself from his competition. Strong enough option to start in San Diego with a 10/10 type skill set and upside in batting average.
A.J. Ellis (C) – Ellis signed a minor league contract in mid-February lining him up to be the backup catcher in 2018. Over ten years in the majors, A.J. hit .237 with 43 HRs and 214 RBI in 1,787 at-bats. He has minimal upside if asked to start.
Allen Cordoba (IF) – Cordoba was selected in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft, which forced San Diego to keep him on the major roster all season. Over two seasons in the minors, Cordoba hit .352 with two HRs, 38 RBI, and 33 SBs over 398 at bats. In the majors, Allen hit .208 with four HRs and 15 RBI over 202 at-bats. Cordoba should start the year at AA putting him a year or two away from another chance in the majors.
Christian Villanueva (3B) – Villanueva handled himself well in his first experience in the majors in 2017. He had 11 hits in 32 at-bats with four HRs and seven RBI, but he did strikeout ten times with no walks. Christian played great at AAA in 2017 (.296 with 20 HRs, 86 RBI, and four SBs over 398 at-bats) with strength in his walk rate (9.5) and K rate (18.3). Villanueva missed the 2016 season in the minors due to a broken bone in his right leg. HIs most interesting season in the minors came in 2011 (.278 with 17 HRs, 84 RBI, and 32 SBs over 467 at-bats) at A ball. I expect him to win a bench role and a hot bat could lead to a starting job at some point in the year.
Matt Szczur (OF) – Szczur has yet to make an impact in the majors after receiving at-bats in four different seasons (.237 with 11 HRs, 55 RBI, and four SBs in 514 at-bats. Matt hit .281 in the minors with 26 HRs, 195 RBI, and 140 SBs over 2,180 at-bats. Possible speed off the bench while trying to earn the utility outfield role.
Travis Jankowski (OF) – Travis missed about five months of 2017 with a broken bone in his right foot. Travis had his best opportunity in the majors came in 2016 (.245 with two HRs, 12 RBI, and 30 SBs over 335 at-bats. He strikes out too much (26.9 percent) for his light hitting skill set. Over five seasons in the minors, Jankowski hit .290 with three HRs, 111 RBI, and 146 SBs over 1,440 at-bats. Pure speed player who will try to win a bench role in 2018.
1. SP Dinelson Lamet
Lamet has a 2.99 ERA over 298.1 innings in the minors with 336 Ks. His walk rate (3.8) had a regression at AAA (4.6) and in the majors (4.3). After eight starts at AAA (3.23 ERA and 50 Ks over 39 innings), Dinelson received the call-up to the majors. Over his first 19 starts with the Padres, he allowed three runs or fewer in 15 games while posting a 4.15 ERA and .205 BAA. Unfortunately, four disaster outings (24 runs and 35 baserunners over 16 innings) masked some of his hidden upside. His best run came over ten starts (2.44 ERA, .185 BAA, and 66 Ks over 59 innings) after the All-Star break. Two poor starts (ten runs and 17 baserunners over 10.1 innings) to end the year pushed his ERA to 4.57. Lamet dominated RH batters (.155 BAA) while needing work against lefties (.263 with 35 of his 54 walks over 213 at-bats). His AFB (95.3) has plus velocity with batters hitting .260 against it. HIs slider (.141 BAA) is elite. Dinelson barely threw a changeup (about five decent of the time) with losing value (.333 BAA). With 150+ innings under his belt in two straight years, he looks poised for a run at 200 innings if he can shave off some walks. Lamet needs to develop his first pitch, improve against lefties, and throw more strikes to become a frontline starter. Pitching in San Diego gives him a chance at a 3.50 ERA in 2018 with 225+ Ks. Dinelson is the type of pitcher Terry Haney would be targeting in the 12th to 15th round (ADP of 220) in 15-team events to solidify his the second tier of his starting rotation. In my thoughts while understanding his WHIP risk.
2. SP Tyson Ross
Tyson was only able to make one start in 2016 due to a right shoulder injury. He tried to make it back to the majors, but he needed surgery to remove a rib to correct his issue. The normal recovery time was four-to-six months, which ended up leading to him missing the first ten weeks of 2017. Just like Matt Harvey, Ross wasn’t the same player before his injury. He struggled to throw first-pitch strikes (46.2 percent) in the majors with regression in his fastball (91.9 – 92.9 in 2016 and 93.8 in 2015). Tyson’s lack of command (6.8 walks per nine) led to struggles with HRs (1.3 per nine). 2017 was a wasted season while being a very good lesson for Fantasy owners. If a player has surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome, he will be a player to avoid the next year with his future value to be determined. To help see his possible upside if he regains his health, here’s a look at his 2016 profile: Ross had decline in his walk rate (3.9). In his career, Tyson has never had a walk rate under 3.2. Even with his fade in command, he set a career high in his K rate (9.7) while maintaining a low ERA (3.26). Over the last three years, Ross has a 3.06 ERA with 526 Ks in 516.2 innings. After a slow start to his season in April (4.55 ERA), Tyson had an ERA under 3.20 in every other month of the year. He pitched well against righties (.220) with some work still needed vs. LH batters (.256 with 49 of his 84 walks). His AFB (92.8) has regressed in back-to-back seasons while only really having one other pitch of value – slider (.195 BAA). Ross did add in a low volume cutter (.226 BAA) in 2015. His approach produces a huge number of ground balls (61.5) with a career low fly ball rate (19.9). Ross has the most upside of any arm on the Padres if he regains his previous form. His spring training news will be important to his draft value. Must follow with a chance to help in ERA and Ks while his WHIP will be a negative without growth in his walk rate.
3. SP Luis Perdomo
Perdomo pitched better in his second season (4.67 ERA) as a starter for the Padres despite a much higher walk rate (3.6 – 2.8 in 2016). Luis had an ERA of 4.50 or higher in each month of the year with no edge at home (4.73). He had no answer against lefties (.305) with a poor BB:SO ratio (33:43) while having failure risk vs. RH batters (.267 with 12 HRs over 333 at-bats). His AFB (94.7) was a step below 2016 (95.1). Perdomo has a very good slider (.237 BAA) while throwing a split-finger fastball (.310 BAA) in his third pitch. Over five years in the minors, Luis went 16-31 with a 4.10 ERA and 270 Ks over 316 innings with a better K rate (7.7). Lot’s of work needed here starting with more strikes. Only an in-season follow if his game starts to show growth. His 2017 did end with a 3.99 ERA over his last 47.1 innings despite walking 21 batters.
4. SP Matt Strahm
Strahm was a slow mover in the Royals’ system due to TJ surgery in 2013. In 2016 with his first shot at starting for a full season in the minors over 18 starts (22 games), Matt had 3.43 ERA with 107 Ks over 102.1 innings. He had the best walk rate (2.0) of his career at AA, but his K rate (9.4) was a career low. Over five seasons in the minors, Strahm had 3.22 ERA with 304 Ks over 251.1 innings. His arm was dominated out of the bullpen in majors (2.80 ERA with 56 Ks in 45 innings) even with a huge step back in his command (6.2 walks per nine). His AFB (94.3) was just above league average with batters hitting .198 against it last year. Both his changeup (.294 BAA) and slider (.324 BAA) had a step back over short innings in 2017. A torn patellar tendon in his left knee led to surgery in July and a lost season. High K arm with big problems with walks in his career. Worth a follow as his stuff may play well at home if Matt wins a starting job.
5. SP Clayton Richard
Richard was just a poor inning eater for the Padres in 2017. He allowed the most hits (240) in the National League, but he did have a career high K rate (6.9) with a rebound in his walk rate (2.7). Clayton was brutal in June and July (6.54 ERA) while being at least serviceable over the last two months of the year (3.51 ERA with 56 Ks over 64 innings). He issued 51 of is 59 walks to righties while they hit .315 against him with 23 HRs over 581 at-bats. His stuff wasn’t much better against LH batters (.286 BAA). His AFB (91.8) remains weak with disaster tied to his changeup (.379 BAA) and his sinker (.320 BAA). Richard did have a slightly above the league average curveball (.256 BAA). His best value did come at home (7-7 with a 4.30 ERA). Clayton has no Fantasy value unless a Fantasy owner wants to play the double start game at home.
SP Bryan Mitchell
Mitchell will have a chance to compete for a starting job the Padres this spring. He’s struggled in his 48 games in the majors (4.94 ERA) in his career while spending most of the time in the bullpen. His lack of upside is tied to a poor walk rate (4.0) and low K rate (5.9). Bryan has an elite fastball (96.3 in 2017) followed by a curveball (.271 BAA) and a cutter (.268 BAA) that have yet to offer an edge in the majors. Over eights seasons in the minors, Mitchell has a 4.16 ERA and 584 Ks over 635.1 innings with similar struggles with his command (4.0 walks per nine). Nothing more than a flier while the change in ballparks will be favorable. If he wins a starting job, Bryan may be playable at home with improvement in his command.
SP Walker Lockett
Lockett wasn’t healthy in 2014 at A ball when he walked 13 batters over ten innings with two Ks. He started to gain some momentum at low A in 2015 (3-0 with a 2.83 ERA and 47 Ks over 57.1 innings), but Walker pitched poorly at A ball (0-3 with a 7.98 ERA). In 2016, his arm had value at A, High A, and AA (2.77 ERA with 111 Ks over 146 innings) before fading at AAA (4.50 ERA). Lockett showed excellent command in the minors (2.1 walk rate), but he only struck out 6.6 batters per nine. His fastball can reach the mid-90s while throwing an upside changeup. A back issue led to a poor year at AAA (4.55 ERA and 1.454 WHIP) and two and half months on the DL. Walker needs to regain his 2016 form to earn a short in the majors while being a swing and miss away from making an impact.
SP Robbie Erlin
Erlin had a pretty impressive minor league resume over his first four years in the minors (9-5 with 3.18 ERA and 196 Ks in 169.2 innings. His walk rate (1.7) was in an elite area. His arm struggled badly over three seasons at AAA (15-10 with a 5.55 ERA and 197 Ks in 235 innings) due to an issue with his left elbow that ended up having TJ surgery in May of 2016. Robbie was unable to pitch at any level in 2017 giving him almost two seasons to recover from his elbow issue. His early resume was strong enough to give him a chance at winning a starting job with the Padres. Erlin has a career 4.54 ERA in the majors. When at his best, Robbie has a low 90s fastball followed by a changeup (.230 BAA) and a curveball (.182 BAA) with upside.
CL Brad Hand
Hand had a tough time making it to the majors as a starter after getting drafted out of high school in the second round in 2008. Over seven years in the minors, Brad had a 3.68 ERA and 650 Ks over 707.2 innings with his walk rate (4.2) restricting his upside. Over his first five seasons in the majors, Hand went 9-25 with a 4.71 ERA and 190 Ks over 288.2 innings. A moved to the bullpen in 2016 with the Padres unlocked the keys to his upside. He led the NL in appearances (82) in 2016 while emerging as the mid-season closer last year. Over two seasons as a reliever, Brad had a 2.56 ERA and 215 Ks over 168.2 innings. He converted 21 of 26 saves in 2017 while posting a career best in his walk rate (2.3) and K rate (11.8). His stuff played well vs. both RH (.208 BAA) and LH (.150 BAA) batters. His AFB (93.9) is just above league average. Hand has a plus, plus slider (.102 BAA) while his four-seam fastball (.173 BAA) is tough to hit. Any of his downside in 2017 came from his sinker (.354 BAA). Improving arm who looks ready to be a winning closing Fantasy option if his command holds up. Sub 3.00 ERA with 100+ Ks and 35+ saves.
RP Kirby Yates
Before pitching in San Diego in 2017, Yates had a 4.78 ERA and 201 Ks over 154.1 innings in the majors. His downside came from 31 HRs allowed (1.8 per nine) and high walk rate (3.5). Kirby allowed a few fewer walks (3.1) while setting a career high in his K rate (14.1) in 2017, but ten balls left the park over 55.2 innings (1.6 per nine). His best run came from June 17th to August 1st (one run and seven hits over 15.2 innings with 24 Ks) when Yates looked close-worthy. A disaster outing on August 4th (six runs, six baserunners, and one HR over one-third of an inning) set up a bad finish to August (14.54 ERA and .324 BAA). Kirby had success against both righties (.190 BAA) and lefties (.239) with more disaster downside to LH batter (seven HRs over 88 at-bats). His AFB (94.2) was a career high. Yates made the most mistakes with his slider (.328 BAA with six HRs over 64 at-bats). His best pitch was his changeup (.109 BAA) while his four-seam fastball (.233 BAA) was tough to hit. Like his K rate, but his career path points to job loss risk if he continues to allow a high rate of home runs.
RP Carter Capps
Capps figured out how to throw strike one (65.3) in 2015, which led to electric K rate (16.8). His walk rate (2.0) was the best of his career. His started with a quick trip to AAA after pitching one clean inning in the majors on April 13th. Over five weeks at AAA, Carter didn’t look like an impact pitcher (3.00 ERA and 6.0 walk rate). Miami called him up late in May leading to two and half months of elite success (1.20 ERA with 57 Ks in 30 innings). His season ended in early August of 2015 due to a right elbow issue that ended up needing TJ surgery in March of 2016. Carter returned to the mound in April last year, but a slow start (five runs and 14 baserunners over seven innings) and a trip back to the DL with an elbow injury cost him five weeks at AAA. After allowing a run in his first game back in June, he tossed 15 shutout innings with 13 Ks. The Padres called up in early August where Capps had no upside (6.57 ERA). A blood clot in early September led to the dreaded thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. Live arm with plenty of injury risk, but I would look elsewhere for upside relief innings.
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