By Joe McDonald at 25 June, 2013, 7:59 am
There's no dominant lede item for Monday, so let's load up the bullets and see where they take us.
• Has Jeremy Hellickson turned the corner? Can we put him back in the circle of trust? It's hard to look away from that ugly eight-run outing he had against the Royals two weeks ago, but he's sandwiched that outing with three strong turns against impressive opponents (Toronto, Boston, Baltimore). Pop open the hood and let's have a look.
Hellickson only allowed one Toronto hit on Monday, albeit he walked a surprising four. Still, seven bagels and a victory is welcome for us anytime. Hellickson's 5.11 ERA is the number that jumps out at you, but he's defended by some of the other stats.
A tidy 3.22 K/BB rate points to likely success, and while Hellickson's ERA estimators aren't in great spots (3.96 tERA, 4.01 SIERA, 3.99 FIP), they're much lower than his front-door number. Perhaps bad luck with sequencing is the bottom line here - Hellickson's 63.2 percent strand rate is a glaring outlier. His hit rate is also 36 points higher than his career number, though he's generally lived a charmed life in that area (helped by a sharp defense and a pitcher-friendly park). To be fair, one sees a .289 BABIP and plays the bad-luck card.