by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Just when we thought Jose Berrios was finally living up to his billing as a potentially elite starting pitcher, things have taken a dramatic turn since the All-Star Break:
Obviously it’s been an across the board regression, so is it fatigue or is it something else? At least part of his second half struggle has come due to poor luck (52.6% strand rate), but he’s also traded groundballs (43.3% to 31.1%) for line drives (16.5% to 27.8%). That alone is going to signal problems, but his skills with his pitches have also regressed significantly:
- SwStr% – 10.1% to 7.4%
- O-Swing% – 32.3% to 25.4%
Does he have the stuff to buck the trend and rediscover the stuff that put him on the map in the first half? Absolutely, but it also isn’t a guarantee. Could this be a “dead arm” period or fatigue, that he will recover from? Perhaps. Could it be the league simply adjusting to his stuff? Perhaps, and that could mean bigger issues.
Since July 1 opponents are hitting .319 against his fourseam fastball and .314 on his sinker. Through June 30 the marks were .188 and .203, respectively. That’s obviously a significant issue and the trend has been going for far too long to simply ignore it or chalk it up to fatigue.
There shouldn’t be any type of innings limit restriction, as he’s thrown 138.2 IP this season after accumulating 169.2 IP in ’16. That said, as with any young pitcher we’d expect inconsistencies down the stretch and with the fastball concerns growing considering him as a sell candidate if you are looking towards the stretch run makes sense.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball
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