Maybe it's blind loyalty, maybe it's that I don't trust Brian Fuentes. But I'm a huge Jose Arredondo fan. You should be as well. After all, last season was a great rookie campaign. During the off season many fans wondered why the Anaheim Angels bothered signing free agent Brian Fuentes when they already their closer of the future in the bull pen.
The few that doubted Arredondo before the season are patting themselves on the back right now do to his rough start. That will end.
It's no secret that Jose has started the season poorly. Resulting in him being dropped in numerous leagues, deep keepers, AL Only formats etc etc. When that has happened in my league I'm there to pick up the scraps.
After all, good middle relievers are hard to come by in this day and age. Thank you Lima Plan, and Ron Shandler.
So let's refocus here on Jose and break down the numbers.
2008- 10-2, 55k, 22bb, 1.62era, 1.05whip, 8.11K/9, 3.24BB/9, 2.5K/BB
2009- 1-0, 19k, 3bb, 5.27era, 1.32whip, 12.51K/9, 1.97BB/9, 6.33K/BB
So lets just stop for a second here, and look past that enormous era and awful whip, and admire the beauty. A phenominal, and down right dominating K/9. A sparkling BB/9 ratio compliments the dominance oh so nicely. So one is left wondering. Then why the abysmal era and whip?
1-.434 Babip, 55.6% Strand. Yeah that's correct. Luck.
Luck has been the biggest factor against Arredondo this season. Consider that the league average Babip is .300, a mark .134 pts above that is sure to balance off, resulting in a significantly reduced whip, and era. That strand rate is just as puzzling. One would assume that he's simply giving up the big fly when runners are on the paths. Incorrect. To date Arredondo has given up zero home runs. It's all comes back to that Babip.
2-Batted Ball- An increased ground ball rate (51.2%- 60.6%), a decreased fly ball rate (31.3%-18.2%) are clear and strong indicators that improvements are just around the corner.
3-IFH%-FIP- For those that don't use Fangraphs.com- you should be. With a huge in field hit percent of 30% one could easily blame the defense. After all his FIP (fielding independent era) is a tiny 1.07!
All things being considered, Arredondo is not off to such a bad start as the surface stats indicate. A little more number crunching and one can see that this is the perfect buy low opportunity, on a player that could easily end up in the closer role.