Throwing Heat Week 12

Denny Medley-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 7/18*

Triston McKenzie, CLE

Last three starts: 21.0 innings pitched, 0.00 ERA, 9.86 K/9

We have talked about it once before and we shall speak about it once again! In June, Triston McKenzie’s fastball averaged 92.4 MPH and resulted in a 6.44 ERA in 29.1 innings. In the month of July, his fastball so far has averaged 92.8 MPH and he currently holds a 0.00 ERA in 21 innings pitched. Fastball velocity certainly matters for Triston McKenzie because it dramatically increases his strikeout rate when he is hitting high 92/93 MPH.

On the season McKenzie has a 3.20 ERA in 101.1 innings pitched with the ERA indicators calling for a low four ERA. I expect him to continue to have his ups and downs where he will likely finish with a high three ERA for the season.

Chris Flexen 플렉센, SEA

Last three starts: 16.1 innings pitched, 1.10 ERA, 6.61 K/9

Chris Flexen has actually been on an interesting run since the end of May. In his last ten starts he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs and has let up two runs or less in seven of the ten. His numbers in his last ten starts equate to a 2.88 ERA, 7.8 K-BB%, and a 1.37 WHIP.

The main shift Flexen made after the first month and a half was deciding to rely on his slider more. In terms of contact against, it has been phenomenal with opponents having only a -35 wRC+ when facing it.

We all know Chris Flexen is limited in terms of upside, just look at his WHIP and K-BB% from this ten-start stretch but he can certainly be a viable streamer.

Johnny Cueto, CHW

Last three starts: 20.0 innings pitched, 1.35 ERA, 5.85 K/9

Johnny Cueto has weirdly been good since getting the call from the White Sox. In 12 appearances (one relief) he holds a 2.80 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, both fantastic ratios. The downside is those numbers come with a 84.9 LOB%, .276 BABIP, and 4.19 SIERA.

Cueto’s numbers call for a low four ERA and much like Flexen, he seems to just be a solid streaming option or someone you can roll with while they are hot.

José Ureña, COL

Last three starts: 18.2 innings pitched, 1.45 ERA, 4.34 K/9

Jose Urena has recently joined the Colorado Rockies rotation and with three starts he has attributed the stat line you see above. I am kind of surprised to see him trending as a popular waiver wire add in Yahoo! Because not only does he pitch for the Rockies but it’s not like his strikeout numbers are extremely high.

I will say Urena did up his velocity on his fastball which is slightly interesting but I still cannot trust this. Don’t add him thinking this success will continue.

Cole Irvin, OAK

Last three starts: 20.0 innings pitched, 1.80 ERA, 4.50 K/9

Cole Irvin has peaked a lot of players’ interests due to his 3.21 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in his 16 starts this season. Irvin is actually a tough case to crack.

On one hand, he has a 5.04 xERA due to his high barrel rate against him, he has a 4.51 SIERA, and he has a low strikeout rate of 16.1%.

On the other hand, he has a low walk rate, a low HR/9, a decent FIP, and has utilized three of his pitches to positive pVAL’s.

I would feel better if Irvin had a higher strikeout rate but what really worries me is his erratic fastball velocity. In the first two months he was steadily throwing 91 to 90 MPH with his fastball but in the last month and a half four out of his seven starts his fastball averaged under 90 MPH. Moving forward I would be very cautious with Irvin.

Braxton Garrett, MIA

Last three starts: 19.0 innings pitched, 1.89 ERA, 8.53 K/9.

Braxton Garrett had a nice three-start run to finish out the first half of baseball. In his last start against the Pirates, he pitched six innings allowing zero earned runs with 11 strikeouts. In eight starts this season he possesses a 3.70 ERA, 22.9 K%, and a 1.23 WHIP.
Garrett mainly throws three pitches and one of them is a lethal slider that holds an impressive 19.3% SwStr% and 41.6% O-Swing%. Meaning that the pitch does a great job at obtaining whiffs and chases outside of the zone. Then he has his four-seam and sinker, both of which he can hit the zone consistently with. The sinker is great for obtaining ground balls while the four-seam is another solid strikeout pitch.

Garrett seems to have a decent and solid pitch mix going on here, plus we know the Marlins are a great organization when it comes to developing pitchers. I think he could be a sneaky good add just to see where he goes from here.

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4 months ago

Hmm. I added Jose Uruquidy in exchange for Shane Baz and moved Trevor Story to my IL in a 10 team ESPN with three IL spots full (DeGrom and Springs are my others on IL). Should I have picked up Ross Stripling (also rp eligible) or Braxton Garrett instead?