Six MLB pitchers who have taken a big step forward in 2019

Six MLB pitchers who have taken a big step forward in 2019

Chin Music Baseball

Six MLB pitchers who have taken a big step forward in 2019

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Eduardo Rodriguez, Boston Red Sox

It’s easy to see where Eduardo Rodriguez has made improvements this season. His 185.1 innings pitched and 17 wins are both career-high marks. However, his 3.64 ERA and 3.2 fWAR aren’t totally different from 2018 (3.82 and 2.1, respectively). He’s also seen a slight decrease in strikeout rate and a slight increase in walk rate.

So where is the huge step forward? Well, being healthy and consistent enough to make 30-plus starts is a tremendous plus for a Red Sox rotation that lacked both of those things this season. Another area is in his batted-ball profile — Rodriguez maintained a low hard-hit rate allowed (28.8%) but also bumped up his soft-hit rate from 19.8% to a league-leading 23.8%.

This has been accompanied by nearly identical improvements of about 10 percentage points in both his ground-ball rate allowed and fly-ball rate allowed. He’s really turned things on since the All-Star break, too — prior to the midsummer respite, E-Rod owned a 4.65 ERA through 102.2 innings. Over his most recent 82.2, though, he’s twirled a 2.40 ERA.

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