Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jason Hammel

Zucchiniboy asked:

Hey guys,

Wondering your thoughts on Jason Hammel. Had a good April, then things started falling apart. K/9 is down, BB/9 is up...he's the last starter on my squad for a buck. Thanks.

Well, for Hammel owners who looked at his FIP and xFIP for the last two years (3.71/3.76 in 2009 and 3.70/3.66 in 2010), there is great disappointment in this former “B” prospect in John Sickels’ opinion.  He has certainly earned his 5-10 record this year, pitching to a 4.75 ERA (relatively consistent with his 4.82 FIP and 4.59 xFIP) and 1.48 WHIP.

Where has Hammel gone wrong?  The recipe is in the K/9 and BB/9: 4.75 K/9 (down from a career 6.30 and 7.14 in 2010) and 3.56 BB/9 (up from a career 3.07 and 2.56 in 2010).  The fly ball rate is up slightly, and the home run rate is up slightly; with more men on base, there are more runs plated.

This should not be a big surprise, however, ignoring FIP and xFIP for a minute.  He pitched to 1.40 and 1.48 WHIPs in 2009 and 2010; essentially, his earned run averages (4.33 and 4.81, respectively) are not out of the realm of reasonableness given the WHIP.

Right now, the Rockies are 11.5 games out of first place and 11 games out of the wild card.  Hammel is pitching poorly.  His fastball is getting creamed.  Fangraphs sees an ERA of about 4.50 the rest of the way with a couple of wins…I see it the same way, and perhaps even a little worse.  At this point, he is an ERA drag, a WHIP drag and is not winning games: if you are in a tight race and need the peripheral stats, I would begin looking for either a replacement starter or a quality reliever.


zucchiniboy said...

Thanks Toz, I appreciate your comments. Any idea why his K-rate has gone down so drastically?

Toz said...

I do not. I have not taken a very close look at his vertical and horizontal movement, but I am going to take a guess that it is a command issue. It looks like he is getting hit early in the count and behind in the count. Too many fat first pitch fastballs? Probably. Too many pitches that are not within "swing" zone and being taken for balls? Probably? Injury? Unlikely - the velocity appears to be okay.

George said...

I took him behind the barn after his last start. Probably the biggest disappointment of my draft.