Boom or Bust? Pitchers Addition

Documented Handicappers has compiled a small list of pitchers that have the potential of doing big things in 2014 and helping their teams with a playoff push.  The same list of pitchers could also go bust this season which is what makes our list of pitchers a coin flip when projecting their 2014 season.

Ervin Santana, Atlanta Braves

Santana rejuvenated his career in 2013. He finished with a 3.24 ERA and had his lowest BB/9 (2.18) since 2008. He reaped the benefits of essentially having Salvador Perez as his personal catcher. According to FanGraphs’ defensive rating stat, Perez was the third-best defensive catcher in all of baseball last year. Perez caught Santana in 28 of his 32 starts last year. In those 28 starts, Santana recorded a 3.13 ERA. Over the other 268 appearances of his career, Santana has an ERA of 4.31.  The Braves lost Brian McCann to the Yankees in the off season but the Braves have a solid bull pen which could help save Santana in the long run.

David Price, Tampa Bay Rays

Will David Price be able to bounce back from injuries?  Price missed the start of the 2013 season due to injuries so his body may be breaking down. Despite a 1.68 ERA during July, his ERA climbed to 2.64 in August and 3.40 in September/October. Price is known for accumulating strikeouts on a consistent basis, but his strikeouts per 9 rate dropped from 8.74 and 8.75 in 2012 and 2011, respectively, to 7.28 in 2013. The velocity on his fastballs averages out to 95.5, while in 2013 it dropped to 93.4. On top of declining numbers, Price gets the luxury of pitching in the American League East, with the loaded lineups of the Yankees and Red Sox, and the always dangerous Orioles and Blue Jays.  Price will get no breaks pitching in the AL and this may be the time in his career that Rays are willing to use him as trade bate to a contending NL team before the trade deadline.  Price would benefit from moving to the NL and it may save his career.

Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers

Zack Greinke cruised to a 2.63 ERA last year due to a phenomenal second half. The 1.85 ERA in the second half was much better than his 3.49 ERA in about the same amount of innings.

Greinke posted his best ERA since 2009, but posted his second-worst SIERA in the last five seasons. The 3.60 SIERA that he posted in 2013 is actually his career average, yet he posted an ERA 1.02 higher.  Greinke will benefit from a potentially dangerous Dodgers lineup which could produce a lot of runs.  His ERA may be higher in 2014 but his win total could go up with a little help from his offense and bullpen.

By RC Blevins
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