Results: W, $200Analysis:
Atlanta at Arizona
will take the ball for the Braves in the middle game of their
weekend set against the Diamondbacks. The Snakes will counter with
Wade Miley. There are a lot of concerns about Santana entering this
start. If you look at his PITCHf/x data, there are some signs of
potential injury for Santana.
sailed through his first six starts with a 1.99 ERA and a 43/10
K/BB ratio. In his last four starts, Santana has allowed 20 runs in
23 innings with a 15/10 K/BB ratio. He has decreased the use of his
slider of late, which signals a potential injury because the slider
is Santana's bread and butter pitch and sliders put the most torque
on a pitcher's elbow. Consider that teams were scared away from
Santana's medicals before the Braves signed him out of necessity
due to elbow injuries to Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen.
Santana is the type of pitcher we would look to back because his
advanced metrics signal improvement. However, we're concerned about
his health because of what we're seeing from his control and the
decreased use of the slider. In his first start of the season, 25
percent of Santana's pitches were sliders. Over the next five
starts, he threw no fewer than 33.7 percent sliders. In his last
four starts, his slider percentage per game has been 32.3, 23.2,
27.4, 29.9. After throwing 50 percent or more pitches in the strike
zone in his first four starts, Santana has ranged from 35.7 to
48.5, with two games below 40 percent in those last four
for Santana is that his fastball command has been lacking this
season, so he either throws the slider and takes a chance with the
elbow or he avoids the slider and has to rely on his other pitches.
Factor in that Santana has had home run problems in the past and
opposing hitters are slugging .431 on the road against Santana and
it's hard to find reasons to like him in this start.
has deserved a better fate this season. His ERA is at 4.85 and his
FIP is at 4.56, but his xFIP is 3.55 and his SIERA is 3.65. Home
runs have been the problem and especially at home. That said, a
25.6 percent HR/FB rate is completely unsustainable. Miley has a
3.82 K/BB ratio at home. Miley is pitching from ahead in the count
more and inducing more swings and misses and strikeouts overall.
All of the positive developments have been overshadowed by the
inordinate rate of home runs allowed. That number will come down
and Miley's success rate will go up.
Pick Made: Jun 7 2014 6:26AM PST