Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals
An intriguing young arm in the Cardinals rotation, Flaherty was anticipated to take a step forward after posting a 2.4-fWAR campaign in 151 innings last season. His overall statistics in 2019 are on track to do that (2.3 fWAR in 128.1 innings), but it wasn’t without some major first-half issues.
In the 97 innings he accumulated prior to the All-Star break, Flaherty struggled to a 4.64 ERA, 1.86 homers allowed per nine innings (20 total), and a .313 wOBA against. However, in his most recent 31.1 innings (prior to Tuesday’s start), those numbers have improved to 0.86, 0.29 (1), .202, respectively.
He’s managed to improve his WHIP by 0.50 while watching his strikeout-to-walk ratio climb from 18.5% to 28.6%. Flaherty also traded surrendering line drives for more ground balls, but his hard-hit rate allowed is still up over 40.0%.
The right-hander has used his slider slightly more often, but the value of that offering has gone up exponentially. After being valued at -0.15 per 100 pitches in the first half, it’s all the way up at 4.43 per 100 pitches since the midsummer classic.