Throwing Heat Week 10

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The season has begun and we are back with Throwing Heat! For those who didn’t read these articles last season, this weekly article focuses on pitchers who are pitching well. When we are further into the season it will be based on a pitcher’s previous three starts but for now, it will just be their most recent starts.

This article’s beauty is that it highlights all types of pitchers from the best in the league to pitchers who are barely rostered. If someone is on a hot streak they will be in this article. I will also tell you if the hot streak is legit or if it appears to be a facade. I hope you enjoy it!

*Stats as of 6/29*

Dean Kremer, BAL

Last three starts: 18.2 innings pitched, 0.00 ERA, and a 6.75 K/9.

This is actually pretty wild, Kremer hasn’t allowed an earned run in three starts…what? It’s a small sample so it’s wise to not really overreact this but that’s still impressive overall. As for the season, Kremer has a 1.29 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in just five starts.

Kremer has never really been a good pitcher in both the major leagues and in AAA. I think a big reason for that is how he truly lacks a pitch that can induce whiffs. His slider is decent at best and it just falls off from there. Additionally, if you glance at his 1.29 ERA on the season it comes with a 4.34 xERA, 4.68 xFIP, 10.8 K-BB%, and a 4.61 SIERA.

Regression is looming.

Zach Plesac, CLE

Last three starts: 18.0 innings pitched, 1.00 ERA, and a 7.00 K/9.

Zach Plesac has actually been impressive for his last six starts now. Since he got dismantled by the Astros on 5/24 Plesac has gone on to pitch 36 innings to the tune of a 2.00 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. Impressive stuff.

These six starts show for regression though as the underlying metrics really call for a near four ERA due to the extremely low BABIP and high LOB%. I will say, his fastball velocity has gone up about half a tick and he is throwing the slider a little more which I think can help in the long run.

I think Plesac is someone to roster in 15-team leagues and is a fringe starter in 12-teams. But as of right now, why not ride the hot hand?

Shane Baz, TBR

Last three starts: 16.1 innings pitched, 1.10 ERA, and a 10.47 K/9.

It’s really nice to see Shane Baz back on the mound. We got to catch a glimpse of Baz last season where he pitched in three starts that resulted in a 2.03 ERA. Now this season through four starts he has a 3.38 ERA and 1.02 WHIP to match it.

Baz has a stellar fastball that he throws 96 MPH and pairs it with a killer slider and curveball. Both of his breaking pitches induce a crazy amount of whiffs with the slider being an exceptional pitch in all facets of the game.

If you have held on to Shane Baz all season be prepared to fall in love with your new Ace.

Charlie Morton, ATL

Last three starts: 19.2 innings pitched, 1.83 ERA, and an 11.44 K/9.

What a wild season for Charlie Morton. Morton has said in the past that he is a slow starter and I think coming off of the injury plus having a shortened spring training really hurt him to start the season. In the month of April Morton has a 7.00 ERA. In May he finished with a 4.60 ERA. Finally, in June he has a 3.52 ERA. It took some time but Morton has finally got himself back into form. Oh, and he has one of the highest K-BB% in the month of June at 29.4%.

Keegan Thompson, CHC

Last three starts: 18.1 innings pitched, 2.45 ERA, and an 11.78 K/9.

Where the heck did Keegan Thompson come from? These last three starts of his have been exceptional and he suddenly has become a strikeout machine. He has 24 strikeouts in his last 18.1 innings.

I will say Thompson’s 33.3% strikeout rate in these three starts does come with just an 11.8 SwStr% so there will be some regression there. But him pitching well seems legit. His 2.45 ERA in his last three starts comes with a 2.69 xFIP and 2.59 SIERA.

Overall as a starter, Thompson has pitched 41.1 innings that have resulted in a 4.57 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 4.35 FIP, and 4.27 xFIP. It’s hard to tell which Thompson is the real Thompson but he is well worth the pickup in hoping the strikeouts stick.





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Sculpin
1 month ago

In his first game back, Baz initially struggled with command and yielded a slam to Luis Arraez on a 2-0 fastball with the bases loaded. But then he settled down. You almost want to give the guy a mulligan.