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The art of pitching is a science that has yet to be mastered, especially in the American League.

I make no apologies for my disdain of the designated hitter, but as a realist I am aware that my perspective is in the minority.

At some point in the near future, the designated hitter will infiltrate the National League and the game I love will be forever altered.

That said, I do hold American League pitchers in high regard and this week’s exercise will concentrate solely on the junior circuit.

Here are five alluring arms for your consideration.

Missives From The Mound: American League Arms

Danny Duffy, SP, Kansas City Royals

 

This is what I wrote up in early November regarding Danny Duffy’s 2016 outlook in the Starting Pitcher Index Quick Pitch Preview; Duffy turns 27 next month and arm injuries along with inconsistencies have stifled his once budding future. He seems destined to thrive in the bullpen.

2016 Relief Pitcher Statistics

• 18.0 IP
• 3.00 ERA
• 2.35 FIP
• 1 HR
• 5 BB
• 21 K
• 28.4 K%
• 21.6 K-BB%

2016 Starting Pitcher Statistics

• 31.0 IP
• 2.90 ERA
• 3.55 FIP
• 5 HR
• 5 BB
• 38 K
• 31.2 K%
• 27.1 K-BB%

ROS: Danny has scrapped the windup altogether and pitches completely out of the stretch, which has delivered substantial and impressive results. Duffy will be in integral piece going forward for the Royals rotation and their future success the rest of the season.

Michael Fulmer, SP, Detroit Tigers

Mister Fulmer was the key piece that Detroit acquired in last season’s Yoenis Cespedes trade with the Mets. The Tigers back of the rotation has been disastrous in 2016 and this rookie’s performance to date has been simply stated, phenomenal and highlighted by a run of 28.1 scoreless innings pitched.

2016 Season Statistics: 4/29/2016 – 6/12/2016

• 9 GS
• 7-1
• 53.2 IP
• 2.52 ERA
• 3.58 FIP
• 1.14 WHIP
• .262 BABIP
• 83.9 LOB%
• 47.9 GB%
• 10.2 HR/FB
• 23.7 K%
• 15.1 K-BB%
• 58.9 FPK%
• 10.8 SWK%

Last 5 Game Starts: 5/21/2016 – 6/12/2016

• 5 GS
• 5-0
• 34.1 IP
• 0.26 ERA
• 2.81 FIP
• WHIP
• .145 BABIP
• 100.0 LOB%
• 46.4 GB%
• 3.0 HR/FB
• 23.8 K%
• 15.9 K-BB%
• 60.3 FPK%
• 11.2 SWK%

ROS: Michael pitched a total of 124.2 inning last season across three levels between the Mets and Tigers farm system, so an innings limit is inevitable. Also of note when measuring the metrics, a correction is coming but one that shouldn’t derail him because of the addition and effectiveness of the changeup to go along with his fastball and slider combination.

James Paxton, SP, Seattle Mariners

 

What a long strange trip it’s been for this Mariner’s pitcher. I had high hopes for Paxton entering last season but injuries combined with ineffectiveness put the kibosh on that. James was sent to the Arizona Fall League after the 2015 season concluded to get some work in and was on the losing end of a Spring Training battle with Nate Karns for Seattle’s last rotation spot.

2016 Season Statistics: 6/1/2016 – 6/11/2016

• 3 GS
• 0-2
• 16.0 IP
• 2.25 ERA
• 3.32 FIP
• 1.56 WHIP
• .429 BABIP
• 67.3 LOB%
• 50.0 GB%
• 30.0 HR/FB
• 32.9 K%
• 27.9 K-BB%
• 52.1 FPK%
• 13.2 SWK%

2016 statistics: 6/6/2016 – 6/11/2016

• 12.1 IP
• 11 H
• 3 R
• 1 ERA
• 1 HR
• 3 BB
• 17 K

ROS: Paxton was promoted to fill in for Felix Hernandez who was recently placed on the DL but after an awful first start which was aided by errors, James has been nails. He has consistently hit high 90’s and even 100 mph well into his last two game starts. When analyzing his advanced analytics there is extreme excitement albeit in this small sample size.

Aaron Sanchez, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

It seemed that the Blue Jays offseason moves all but guarantee Sanchez would return to the bullpen in 2016. Fortunately, that did not happen as Aaron had been awesome prior to last Sunday’s offensive onslaught that occurred at Rogers Centre versus the Baltimore Orioles, he was rocking a sub three earned run average on the season.

2016 Season Statistics: 4/5/2016 – 6/7/2016

• 12 GS
• 5-1
• 80.1 IP
• 2.91 ERA
• 2.89 FIP
• 1.15 WHIP
• .282 BABIP
• 74.4 LOB%
• 59.5 GB%
• 10.0 HR/FB
• 23.2 K%
• 15.3 K-BB%
• 60.2 FPK%
• 8.6 SWK%

Last Sunday versus Baltimore Orioles: 6/12/2016

• 5.0 IP
• 10 H
• 6 R
• 6 ER
• 4 HR
• 3 BB
• 7 K

Innings Pitched

• 2016 80.1
• 2015 102.0
• 2014 133.1
• 2013 109.2

ROS: Sanchez has usurped Stroman this season in Toronto but Marcus will be counted on for a full seasons workload unlike Aaron. A predetermined return to the bullpen is a reality due to his lack of innings amassed in his career to date.

Chris Tillman, SP, Baltimore Orioles

 

The curious case of Chris Tillman as the unassuming ace pitcher of a beleaguered Baltimore Orioles rotation.

2016 Home Season Statistics

• 9 GS
• 6-0
• 52.2 IP
• 2.39 ERA
• 3.45 FIP
• 1.22 WHIP
• .302 BABIP
• 88.1 LOB%
• 50.8 GB%
• 12.2 HR/FB
• 26.8 K%
• 17.4 K-BB%

2016 Away Season Statistics

• 5 GS
• 3-1
• 32.0 IP
• 3.66 ERA
• 4.63 FIP
• 1.06 WHIP
• .212 BABIP
• 77.8 LOB%
• 34.4 GB%
• 12.2 HR/FB
• 19.8 K%
• 11.1 K-BB%

ROS: My initial response with Tillman dating back to my preseason research was no thank you! He is pitching over his skies this season but has made some adjustments with a velocity uptick and an effective cutter leading the way for his upswing in 2016. While I still expect a pull-back in his numbers, a very useful starting pitcher remains.

Matthew Modica
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Matthew Modica

Writer at CTMBaseball.com
Matt Modica enjoyed a decade-long career on Wall St. and then embarked on a second career in film production, while living in Los Angeles and Hawaii. Matt is currently the author of the 2015 Starting Pitching Index at CTMbaseball.com and he's a high stakes Fantasy enthusiast.
Matthew Modica
Follow Matt!

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