HQ -- only $15 digital download at BaseballHQ.com -- sez,
Missed 14 weeks to two different injuries (oblique, shoulder). In resulting short sample, control slipped but FpK history gives hope for recovery. While he appeared to hold Dom gains, SwK drop suggests 2017's surprise breakout is likely an outlier. Skills and age make him a fairly average bullpen arm.
In other words, he had good excuses for 2018, as pitchers often do. BUT on the other hand don't take his star-making 2017 -- 10.6 strikeouts, 2+ walks -- as the gospel either.
At the M's site you get a good look at his nice-lookin' change-slider, very good arm action, and then 42 different camera angles on Dee Gordon scooping up a ground ball.
Leaving us where? The two previous years, 2015-16, he'd racked up 8K's per nine innings and stayed at 2+ BB. Then the star year. Then the injury year.
Swarzak throws a 55-45 mix of sliders and fastballs, going to 93 on the fastballs. The slider's his money pitch, with the arm action looking plus. So yeah, sounds like the profile of an MLB(TM) average-solid pitcher so far. The man did string three long years' worth of performance and scored an $8M per year contract.
If you ever figger this 'pen out YOU let US know... odd thing though, it's kind of the anti-Mariner bullpen. Everything they try [invert it now] WORKS.
FANTASY BASEBALL PRINCIPLE
One year Dr. D played his BABVA kids into a pretty tough league and decided to experiment with this principle: TAKE EVERYBODY WHO WAS REALLY GREAT TWO YEARS AGO, AND FELL OFF LAST YEAR.
My reasoning: fans are fickle. That's the Moneyball we'll use.
As we recall it worked very well. We figured there would be scads of Jay Bruces out there, 32 homers and 94 RBI their normal level of performance, who slipped on the ice in 2018 and then got blown off, dismissed, by the kindsa fans who spend their winters arguing "Harper or Machado?"
Let's see if we can count up the 2019 Mariners who were big TWO years ago and forgotten LAST year:
1) Jay Bruce - 29 and 36 homers with 176 RBI in 2016-17; out half the year last year
2) Dee Gordon - .308, 60 SB's two years ago. Long forgotten BABVA target on draft day
3) Ryon Healy* - sort of repeated his 2017, that and his positional woes costing him some luster with the sabes
4) Domingo Santana - 30 jacks, 85 ribbies two years ago. Pushed out of a starting job last year. Bingo
5) Edwin Encarnacion* - Batting EYE dropped off a lot at age 35, but LEADS the majors in homers since 2012 (that's LEADS). Didn't even drop off in homers last year.
6) Yusei Kikuchi* - Had his Bob Gibson 1+ ERA season .... TWO years ago.
7) Anthony Swarzak and half the bullpen
8) Tim Beckham
Bruce, Gordon, Beckham, and Santana would have been huge draft-day heists. So that is fully half the lineup scored due to the 2-year principle. The other three guys, not counting the bullpen as a "guy," mighta fallen quite a bit also. You think Jerry is becoming a two-years-ago man, lookin' past the camoflage of a snakebitten last season? :- )
Well. It is Workin'. Rat now.
The only 3-win pitcher in baseball.
There's only ONE other 2-win pitcher in the AL, that being Mike Fiers. Beaten by Marco on Opening Day.
Sitting at 3-0, 3.20 with a 5.03 / 1.37 / 0.92 slash line thus far. One plus walks; needs to get the K's up of course and will do so. For whatever reason his curve has been very ineffective, 7+ runs per 100, and it has actually looked that bad. The fastball and cutter have raked in nice profits and the change has been hit a little. Batters sitting back on their heels against him?
You know how you hadda be there for some jokes? ... that was true of the joke of 'Bach's early-game double. WHAT a TEE shot. Low, low liner the RF raced over and .... it carried carried carried. Looked soo sweet.
Then the GWHR ... that one looked like you hadda be watching on TV :- )
Lessee, where does that leave his stats after the early slow start ... .286/.500/.857 with a 2:3 EYE in 10 plate appearances. Anybody else in favor of giving the 1B-DH-LF guys a little restage?