Two Start Pitchers, Week 9: Dream Weaver… Get Me Through The Night

The Sophomore slump is typically something that I disregard as an easy narrative for people to use in order to explain a player’s struggle, and Luke Weaver is no exception. Sure, his second season in the league was rough, but it wasn’t because the league got a book on him or whatever reasons people give for a 2nd year struggle. Weaver had a disappointing 2018 because the curve and change up both flattened out and hitters teed off on what had been Weaver’s strongest 2 offerings. The curve in 2018 gave up a .329 avg. against and a  .589 slugging percentage. Generally speaking, a velocity bump is a positive development, but the small velocity gains from Weaver seemed to mess with those 2 pitches. The curve flattened out and the change up gained spin (wrong direction for a change), which have both corrected themselves this year.  The K rate is back to 26.1% from 19.9% last season, the walk rate is down to 5.7%, and the results are promising. He is giving up a bit more hard contact than we’d like to see, but the swinging strike rate is up 1.4% to 11.1% with the contact rates inside and outside the zone both improving along with the first strike percentage. The numbers point toward more of a high 3s or low 4s ERA from Weaver the rest of the season, but he has 2 pitchers parks against bottom half of the league offenses this week, so, ride the wave.

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