Fuentes’ velocity has been an issue at times this spring (perhaps attributable to the back stiffness that shut him down for a week earlier this month). He topped out at 88-89 mph today.
Fuentes was also battered by minor league Cubs on Monday. His official spring ERA is 12.27, though all of the runs were scored in two-thirds of an inning against the Padres on March 17.
It's not unusual for a pitcher's velocity to be down in mid-March, so there's no need to panic here. Last year Fuentes' average fastball was 91.6 mph; we're not talking about a catastrophic loss of velocity. He's certainly being paid to close (17.5M/2Y). Still, if you've invested in Fuentes, handcuffing him to Scot Shields (15 percent owned) or Jose Arredondo (25 percent) isn't the worst move. Those two should be helpful regardless of their roles.
The Nationals are showing concern about Hanrahan because his fastball was clocked in the high-80's to low-90's in the Classic. Normally, his fastball is clocked in the mid-90's.
"He threw the ball well, but I didn't see the velocity I'm used to over here," Acta said.
Hanrahan's average fastball was 95.2 mph last year, and he really needs every last m. It's a worry, but, again, there's time. Saul Rivera and Steven Shell would enter the saves mix if we see a few missteps from Hanrahan, but there's no reason to jump on those handcuffs now.
Before we get to the eye-stinging spreadsheet that you've all grown to love, we should note that the Cubs are expected to officially name a closer late this week. Carlos Marmol is, of course, a better pitcher than Kevin Gregg, so it would make sense to use him in situations where there's very little margin for error -- and no, the ninth inning with a two-run lead and no one on base is not such a situation.
OK, you'll want to use the pinhole projection method to look at this thing...
Note: The little * means there's an injury to monitor, but the player's role is secure.
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