Matt Cain off to a slow start (USAT)
Matt Cain entered this season having allowed 129 homers over 1,536.2 innings (0.76 HR/9). This year, he’s already served up nine home runs over 34.2 innings. Put differently, he’s allowed the same amount of long balls this month as he did all of the 2011 season, which spanned 221.2 innings. Cain has never had a season in which his HR/FB% was higher than 8.4. That number currently sits at 19.1% in 2013. While some could view this as regression hitting hard, Cain’s previous sample was too big to be written off as a fluke, and it’s worth pointing out just two of his six starts this year have come at home. Cain’s fastball velocity is down slightly in the early going (about 0.5 mph less compared to last year), and thanks to two deep playoff runs, he’s averaged 238.2 innings pitched over the past three seasons, so it’s at least possible he’s wearing down. However, with a 32:10 K:BB ratio over 34.2 innings this year, Cain could just as easily be viewed as a prime buy-low candidate. A 6.49 ERA typically isn’t accompanied by a 1.30 WHIP. I’d try to take advantage of owners fed up with an extremely unlucky stretch of home runs allowed and throw out some trade offers. From 2009-2012, Cain’s ERA (2.93) and WHIP (1.10) were both the fourth-best among all starters in baseball (accompanied by a HR/FB% of 7.0), so don’t let one month change just how consistently good Cain has been. The home park, SF’s bullpen and strong defense are all in his favor as well.
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Here’s a cop yanking a suicidal man off train tracks at the last possible second.Read More »from Mostly MLB Notes: Buying Matt Cain and examining what’s wrong with Eric Hosmer