Could Jhoulys Chacin Become A Viable Fantasy Option In San Diego?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

In a relatively under-the-radar move, Jhoulys Chacin joined the San Diego Padres recently.  While he split time between the rotation and the bullpen last season, you have to think that he’s going to get the opportunity to start for the Padres despite this ugly split:

  • Starter – 5.07 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 6.55 K/9, 3.43 BB/9
  • Reliever – 3.77 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 10.99 K/9, 3.45 BB/9

For much of his career he called Coors Field home, which helps to explain part of his overall ugly numbers (3.94 ERA, 1.35 WHIP), but does that mean that he’s a lock to produce now?  Last season he spent the bulk of his time with the Angels, so we do once again have an excuse (more difficult lineups including a DH).  That said, the fact that we need “excuses” should give us some cause for concern alone.

Chacin has always had decent control (3.68 BB/9) and does have the potential for a few more strikeouts.  Sure he’s not a flamethrower, but his slider can be a wipeout pitch (18.49 Whiff% in ’16) and that should allow him to at least maintain a 7.00 K/9 pitching in the NL.

The key is the groundball rate.  Look at the marks for the past four seasons:

  • 2013 – 46.8%
  • 2014 – 42.9%
  • 2015 – 47.4%
  • 2016 – 48.4%

They are hardly elite numbers, but putting them in San Diego should be a good thing (as we’ve had a long line of pitchers who fared fairly well at home and struggled on the road).  Of course last season was the first time he topped 70 innings since 2013, and he’s thrown 135+ innings in just four of the past seven seasons.  It’s an extra concern for a pitcher who is going to be full of them.

With decent control, decent strikeouts and some groundballs, at the least we’d expect Chacin to be a streaming option at home.  He has the potential to be a little bit more than that, but probably not significantly more as he’s never shown enough.

He’s not suddenly going to be a strikeout an inning pitcher…
He’s not suddenly going to have spectacular control…
He’s not suddenly going to emerge as an elite groundball pitcher…

Usable for a spot start at home?  Absolutely.  Usable beyond that?  Don’t expect it.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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Make sure to check out our other Early 2017 Rankings:

Position
Standard League
OBP League
Catcher03/20/1702/28/17
First Base01/16/1703/07/17
Second Base03/22/1703/09/17
Third Base02/06/1703/12/17
Shortstop02/13/1703/15/17
Outfield#1-20 |03/16/17

#21-40 |03/16/17
03/19/17
Starting Pitcher#1-20 |02/27/17

#21-40 |03/02/17
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Relief Pitcher01/02/17--

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