While Aaron Ashby has been hit and miss in his four starts this season, he has been quite good coming out of the bullpen and looks locked into that role heading into the playoffs. Since being recalled in August, Ashby has a 1.42 ERA and .75 WHIP with 28 K’s over 25.1 IP. He’s been even better in the month of September serving in a relief only role, and while he only has two holds, his usage can still help your ratios and strikeout numbers a la Collin McHugh. Ashby has been a bat missing machine in his 14.1 relief innings, with a 17.2% SwStr rate and 40% CSW, second only to Lucas Sims over that time. I like him this weekend against the left-handed heavy Mets, but next week could be a bit dicier as the team goes on the road to St. Louis and then wrap up the season in Los Angeles to face the Dodgers.
- At this point in the season when it comes to holds I think it’s best just to ride the hot hand. That certainly applies to two up and down flame throwers in Génesis Cabrera and Josh Staumont. Cabrera has yet to allow a run in September and has seven games left against the Cubs. Staumont has allowed just two runs this month and has series with each of the remaining AL Central teams not from Chicago.
- The same applies to this pair of lefties, Jake Diekman and José Alvarado, who possess huge strikeout upside but with that, comes control issues. While Sergio Romo struggles in September, Diekman is coming off a great week but has six games remaining against the Astros. Alvarado has only issued one walk over the past two and half weeks and should be the Phillies’ secondary setup option the rest of the way.
- Two pitchers I was extremely high on entering 2021 who had their issues early in the season have looked much more like themselves lately. While he was missing the same swing and miss stuff he possessed last season, Tyler Duffey has been a different pitcher since the start of August with a 2.65 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 36% K rate. Tanner Rainey was so bad earlier in the season he was sent to AAA for about two months. Now he’s back, throwing harder and missing bats again with 2.2 perfect innings and six strikeouts in September.
- This brings us to two pitchers that despite their massive upside at one point this season (or last), aren’t great bets for the last week of the season. Nick Anderson’s velo is down and he just hasn’t been the same pitcher we are used to (6.8% SwStr rate). Matt Barnes hasn’t looked the same since his return to the Red Sox bullpen either and his velo is all of a sudden way down as well. We’re just about out of time waiting for these guys to turn the corner.
Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)