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Friday, December 18, 2020

Veteran pitcher Michael Wacha agrees to one-year deal with Rays

The Rays have signed veteran starting pitcher and former Cardinals All-Star Michael Wacha to a one-year, $3 million deal.

Wacha, 29, has pitched parts of eight seasons in the majors, with a career 60-43, 4.01 record. He spent seven seasons in St. Louis ― including his 17-7, 3.38 All-Star showing in 2015 ― and 2020 with the Mets, going 1-4, 6.62.

Wacha gives the Rays an experienced starter to join the rotation. They lost veteran Charlie Morton, who signed with Atlanta after the Rays declined a $15 million option, and starter candidates Yonny Chirinos, Brendan McKay and Jalen Beeks to injury. Plus, they are considering trading ace lefty Blake Snell, which could leave them only with Tyler Glasnow, Ryan Yarbrough and young arms such as Josh Fleming, Shane McClanahan and Brent Honeywell.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2020 at 11:11 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: michael wacha, rays

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2020 at 03:07 PM (#5994927)
Me, yesterday: Michael Wacha is probably going to get a minor league deal and I can't see him being good

Me, today: Michael Wacha is in the running for the Cy Young Award next year.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: December 18, 2020 at 06:03 PM (#5994968)
Only 34 innings but some wild rate stats for Wacha in 2020. He had 9.8 K/9 ad 1.9 BB/9 and you're thinking "awesome year." But he gave up 9 HR and 46 hits in those 34 innings. That's an on-contact BA/SLG of 418/800. That's Babe Ruth on-contact production. Makes you wonder if everything was so hittable they wre swinging at every pitch.
   3. bfan Posted: December 18, 2020 at 07:23 PM (#5994972)
Seems like nay yesterday he was exhibit “A” for how well the Cardinals identify and develop pitchers. Was his best year his first year in MLB?
   4. John DiFool2 Posted: December 19, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5995016)
Does he like to play Pac-Man a lot?
   5. Walt Davis Posted: December 19, 2020 at 05:01 PM (#5995064)
Was his best year his first year in MLB?

Define "year" :-)

His career high is 181 IP and only one other season over 150. 65 innings as a rookie with a 135 ERA+ was his best rate performance. He followed that with two years totalling 288 IP and a 115 ERA+. bWAR rates those 1.9, 1.4 and 3.0 but he had some FIP "luck" in that last year so I'll assume fWAR makes it closer. Since then he's been replacement, average, average, replacement, replacement but in the first two of those "years" he had bad FIP "luck" although quite possibly that was just a harbinger of how hittable he was about to become.

It's the Rays, I assume they see something positive or something they think can be easily fixed.
   6. puck Posted: December 19, 2020 at 08:36 PM (#5995092)
It's the Rays, I assume they see something positive or something they think can be easily fixed.

Last year he had a 1.079 OPS for the 1st PA to a hitter, .952 for the 2nd PA, and .634 for the 3rd

So clearly they'll only let him pitch the 3rd time through the order.

On a more serious note, it's interesting he had his best K:BB numbers last season.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: December 21, 2020 at 10:04 PM (#5995433)
Ha ha. A surprise to nobody who thought about it for a few seconds but they only let him pitch to a batter for the 3rd time 18 times. More fun with the poor guy's 2020 pitch count splits:

1-25: 1008 OPS
26-50: 1083
51-75: 854 (starting to settle in)
76+: 495 (11 PA)

So maybe have him start warming up in the 2nd for a 6th-inning relief appearance.

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