The Brewers have exactly 1 starting pitcher with an ERA below 4.50 entering play Friday night - that would be Kyle Lohse with a 3.76 mark, but he's skipping a start due to a sore elbow.
|It's hard to blame Hiram Burgos - a true rookie - for|
his struggles, but he's had his own issues
Each hurler has had his fair share of issues that has created these inflated stats and the club needs to hope for some sort of turnaround soon before they get buried by the middle of June.
Here's a quick look at what is troubling the four culprits and any glimmer of hope they're showing. The list is in order from "lowest" ERA to highest.
- Velocity down leads to strikeouts per 9 innings (K/9) is down to 6.7 (9.0 career)
- Lack of command creating high pitch counts and just 5.8 IP per start
- June is his best month for ERA (2.97) and K/9 rate (9.9); July best for WHIP (1.245)Home run and walk rates are down slightly from career average
- Needs to challenge hitters, especially early in the count. Nibbling for corners creating high pitch counts and falling behind hitters. Must use 4-seam fastball more and 2-seam fastball less (http://www.brewersmix.com/2013/05/gallardos-problem-his-fastball-of-choice.html).
- Home runs are an issue at 1.9 HR per 9 IP - higher than his poor career rate (1.4)
- Strikeouts per walk (K/BB) more than 2 points below last season
- Zero HR allowed in last 2 starts (12.2 IP)
- With runners in scoring position, opponents have a .191 AVG and .555 OPS
- His fastball isn't really good enough to be a consistent starter, so he must utilize his changeup more frequently and with impeccable command. He remains in the top 20 of NL starters in K/9. Too often leaving pitches up and over plate, leading to 17% of fly balls ending up as home runs - 3rd highest in the NL, 6th in all of baseball.
- With 2 outs and runners in scoring position: Hitters have .434 AVG and 1.101 OPS
- Big innings early in games: 26 of 37 runs allowed are in first 3 frames (70%)
- 6 runs allowed once
- 5 runs allowed twice
- 3 runs allowed twice
- Ground ball percentage of 54%, good for 7th among NL starters
- Batting average of balls in play (BABIP) is 4th highest among NL starters (.337)
- Suggests some bad luck and poor defense
- He's been burned by some tough luck bloops and broken bat hits, but that's also indicative of leaving pitches up in the zone - if they're down, they're probably outs. I still believe he can succeed, but needs to find a feel for all his pitches and command them. Traditionally a slow starter, we hope he warms up with the weather.
|Peralta struggled with command in AAA last year|
and the issue has returned to start 2013
- Seen as a control pitcher, 3.4 BB/9 a big number for a normally 2.5 BB/9 guy
- Strikeouts per walk at 1.64 K/BB - generally over 2.25 K/BB in minors
- Allowing just 14.3% line drives (LD%), tied for 6th among NL starters
- In 477 minor league innings, 3.58 ERA, 3.14 K/BB, 1.247 WHIP
- His numbers took a major hit with that 3-inning, 10 ER outing against the Reds on May 11. He's only thrown 29.1 frames at this level and probably doesn't have the pure "stuff" to be great. Needs to rely heavily on command and changing speeds as his fastball won't blow anyone away.
|Gallardo's consistency is needed, but|
he's far from himself thus far
We'll see what happens over the next 26 games, which would get us to June 20th after a 9-game road trip through Miami, Cincinnati and Houston. If the starters don't have a semblance of recovery before then, the season might be on the brink with 3 months to go.