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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: CARLOS CARRASCO SP CLEVELAND INDIANS

What a difference a year makes.  It was at this time last season where yours truly shouted to the rafters to draft Cleveland Indians emerging power pitcher Carlos Carrasco.  Having finally curbed his previous struggles with control and to an extent home runs, Carrasco's big strikeout stuff began to take over as posted a huge 10.58 K/9 rate which resulted in 216 K's in just 183.2 innings in 2015.  It seemed like Carrasco was the new fantasy baseball ace pitcher on the block and so I went hard after him in 2016 drafts.  I did in fact get Carrasco in the Experts League last season but needless to say, things didn't exactly go according to plan.  For one thing, Carrasco dealt with injuries as he hit the DL twice; first for a hamstring and the second led to an early shutout after fracturing a bone in his hand due to a comebacker.  In between, Carrasco was not nearly as potent a pitcher as he was in 2015 on a number of fronts.  For one thing, Carrasco's swinging strike percentage dropped which went hand-in-hand with a drop in velocity.  Also Carrasco's K/BB percentage was his lowest in his 2014-16 span.  With the velocity dipping, Carrasco began to see his HR/9 rise again sharply to troubling levels (1.29 mark) which brings back some bad early memories.  Now Carrasco's 3.32 ERA on the surface looked good but keep in mind he had a slightly lucky .289 BABIP that when adjusted, led to a FIP ERA of 3.72.

So in totality, Carrasco's 2016 was a mess all the way around and the dip in velocity is very scary for a guy who has had a bunch of injuries in his career.  Also Carrasco's spring has not been encourgaing in the least as he has been shellacked in two of his three starts.  Things started off ugly as Carrasco yielded 4 runs in just 1.1 innings in his first exhibition outing and Monday night was a joke as he gave up 8!!!!!! more runs in 1.2 frames.  Carrasco is not fooling anyone right now and Monday night he gave up 3!!! home runs.  The fastball velocity remains down from 2015 and the balls are flying out. Throw in the expected ERA rise and the health woes and Carrasco is a guy you may want to avoid in drafts considering all that is jogging in the wrong direction.  Yes I was a huge Carrasco fan not that long again but that has changed for 2017 given all that we have seen.


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