Yesterday the news broke that Drew Pomeranz was heading to the bullpen, with the Giants summoning Conner Menez to fill the void in the rotation. It’s a move that makes some sense, especially with the 24-year old lefty pitching well at both Double and Triple-A this season:
- Double-A (59.2 IP) – 2.72 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 70 K, 20 BB
- Triple-A (35.1 IP) – 3.82 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 53 K, 16 BB
Obviously the performance took a step backwards upon his promotion, though over his final two starts at Triple-A he allowed just 1 ER with 15 K over 11.2 IP. Impressively he improved his SwStr% in Triple-A, going from 14.1% to 15.8%. However outside of the strikeouts it’s fair to be concerned with the other metrics.
In terms of his control he clearly had taken a step backwards, going from a 3.02 BB/9 to a 4.08 in his brief stint at Triple-A. Let’s not forget that he had a 3.99 BB/9 over 135.1 IP in 2018, so the performance at Triple-A would appear to be closer to the truth.
His groundball rate is also a concern:
- Double-A – 37.2%
- Triple-A – 29.6%
While pitching in San Francisco could help to eliminate some of the home run damage, it won’t remove it all. When you couple that with the potential lack of control it’s easy to envision some struggles at the highest level.
The repertoire also doesn’t help support a true breakout, considering this scouting report from Baseball America:
Menez throws from a low, three-quarter arm slot with an above-average fastball that sits 90-95 mph. He gets excellent extension from the mound, allowing his fastball to get on hitters faster than the radar readings may suggest. Menez has a true four-pitch mix with a curveball, slider and changeup, although none consistently grades out better than average. His slider can flash plus at times with good tilt.
While he shouldn’t be ignored, he also shouldn’t be considered a pitcher to trust.
Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:
- 10 Team League – Don’t add
- 12 Team League – Don’t add
- 14+ Team League – Possible add (depending on your level of desperation)
- NL-Only League – Worth add
- Keeper/Dynasty – Worth add
Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball America