Thursday, September 15, 2016


Not bad for a guy from the Mexican League.  That is the nondescript locale that brought forth surprisingly productive Milwaukee Brewers starter Junior Guerra who once again was in control Wednesday night as he tossed six shutout innings against the Cincinnati Reds to lower his season ERA to 2.81 in 20 starts with the team.  From the beginning, the 31-year-old Guerra has performed way beyond expectations and in factt here were no expectations attached to him at all given his adventurous path to the majors and his age.  Very rarely do we see such performances from a rookie at Guerra's age but he clearly looks like a missed commodity given what we have seen so far.  We have all kept waiting for the other shoe to drop with Guerra and for major league hitters to adjust to his stuff but it hasn't happened.  Digging into the numberss a bit, Guerrea's 7.40 K/9 rate is nothing to write home about which makes what he has done even more impressive.  He keeps the baseball in the park though at 0.74 HR/9 which is a big deal considering his home park and that has helped him not get in as much trouble when you look at his one obvious weakness, his high 3.18 BB/9.  With a high walk rate and low K rate, Guerra would obviously need some BABIP help and that has been the case as his .250 mark is VERY lucky and explains why we are seeing what we are a seeing.  When you adjust the luck, Guerra's FIP ERA jumps to 3.70 and his XFIP ERA to 4.31.  The latter number is especially more indicative of a former Mexican League pitcher who is a rookie at 31.  There is a ton of fluke going on here and just like we saw a year ago in the same town with Taylor Jungmann who performed similarly for the Brewers in 2015 out of nowhere but then had his head beaten in at the start of 2016 and he was rightfully banished to the minors where he belongs.  This very well could be the result for Guerra next season as major league hitters will have had a winter to digest his approach and the luck will surely change.  We would not touch him in 2017 as this one could blow up in a very bad way.


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