What’s eating Kyle Freeland?

Baseball News
6 months ago

Last season, Freeland’s 2.85 ERA establish a Rockies listing. His 2019 ERA is more than twice that.

From the first inning of Thursday’s match against the Giants, Kyle Freeland struck out Tyler Austin by becoming him to swing three sliders. Each busting ball was perfectly placed under the zone as were the two-seamer and curve that Freeland.


Baseball Savant

If this was the only batter you’d seen Freeland pitch to the entire year, you’d believe that 2019 was business as usual to its Colorado native.

It’s a feat that’s more impressive once you remember that Freeland pitched about half of his games at Coors Field, a ballpark so heavily skewed toward the hitter that the Rockies have not figured out how to beat it in almost 30 years. This 2.85 ERA is the best mark with a qualified Rockies starter inside his or her history.

The run estimators that were complex all guessed some regression would happen for Freeland. His DRA was run but still at a commendable 3.89. He strikes out around 20 percentage of their batters he confronts that will ben’t close to elite. However, the baseball gods have overcorrected, and after a five-run devotion on Thursday, Freeland’s ERA sits in an unsightly 5.84. His DRA has also risen up to 4.52 along with his FIP is upward to 5.44.

Freeland is a portion of the Rockies rotation that appeared to have solved Coors last yr, but pitchers as talented as Freeland and Germán Márquez can be susceptible to this outfield and thin atmosphere. Eight begins to this season, Freeland has already given up over half the home. Back in 2018, Freeland allowed only 17 home runs with a HR/FB proportion of 8.5. He’s around nine this year.

At the belt, Freeland abandoned a fastball in Austin plate look Thursday and Austin struck it 441 feet. It is a fitting example of the season of Freeland has gone thus far, although Austin in his very first look struck out and surrendered because it does Freeland’s a dinger in his next says just as much about the match of Austin. In a lot of ways, he’s the same pitcher. Meanwhile, his strikeout and walk rates haven’t moved. He is having exactly the exact same amount of ground balls and flying strikes. He is simply making mistakes, therefore when hitters make contact, they are hitting the ball.

His slider has been an essential tool for him last year. It’s probably still his best pitch, but they are beating it if it isn’t being waved through by hitters. During his 2018 breakout, his slider was kept by Freeland onto the armside component of this plate. The heatmap below is from the viewpoint of the pitcher.

Freeland is throwing it into the gloveside but he’s not getting it out far enough where lefties have to reach for this or righties get jammed with it.


FanGraphs

It also doesn’t help that in his latest launch against the Diamondbacks, at that he gave up eight runs in six innings, Freeland had the lowest average fastball pace of his livelihood. Because outing, Freeland’s average fastball was thrown at just 90.8 mph.

Freeland can survive a drop in speed when he located the ball, but he’s not been doing that. He was up to 91.4 miles on Thursday, which is a point that he struck last year, too. 1 start does not mean that people have to freak out about his pace, but it’s something to keep your eye on.

Freeland has never been too bad because his ERA suggests. His 18.6 HR/FB percentage is likely to return while his left on base percentage of 63.1 is bound to go up. His dreadful beginning to 2019 was made worse with some awful luck. When we can declare that the previous month and a half was a mirage, we’ll have to admit that 2018 might have already been a mirage, too.


Kenny Kelly is a writer for Beyond the Boxscore and McCovey Chronicles.

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