Out of all the names to be doing well in the bullpen, who would’ve thought of Javy Guerra? The Washington Nationals had traded for veteran pitcher Javy Guerra in 2019 as part of their depth in their title run. They relied heavily on him down the stretch but he wasn’t great. A 5.40 xFIP and 4.59 SIERA in 53.2 innings just doesn’t cut it. He also only had 3 innings in the postseason where he gave up one run. With all of that in mind, Guerra was seen as an innings-eater at most for the Nationals. This all has changed though, as Guerra has seemed to figure something out in the bullpen.
Javy Guerra’s RPM on his fastball and slider have seen some noticeable spin rate increases. This may not be all that’s to it but it’s still a big way to generate more swings and misses.
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These bumps in RPM have led to some better success, and the department it’s given him success in is career-changing.
Javy Guerra Generates More Whiffs and Strikeouts
Javy Guerra’s pitches are also generating way more whiffs and Ks which can really change your career. Strikeout pitchers are simply more valuable than contact pitchers. A strikeout pitcher consistently gets outs that don’t involve the defense making a play. When a ball is in play anything can happen, but when you strike out? Nothing happens other than an out.
The once contact driven fastball that garnered a mere 14.5% whiff rate now is at 33.3%. His slider saw an increase from 25.9% to 42.9%. His curveball? A 6.7% whiff rate in 2019 is now a 25% whiff rate. This has led to him also having an above 1:1 ration in strikeouts to inning pitched. His strikeouts have led to him posting a 2.86 xFIP and 2.10 SIERA to go along with a 1.23 ERA.
Javy Guerra has been reliable, dominant, and everything the Nationals could’ve asked for and then some.
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