The LA Angels recently relieved Jesse Chavez of his duties as a starting pitcher. He was moved to the bullpen, effective immediately. As a career relief pitcher, how will Chavez fare for the LA Angels as they aim for a Wild Card spot?
The LA Angels opted for youth and upside when they announced Troy Scribner would take Jesse Chavez’s spot in the starting rotation. Chavez has been a reliever for all but three years of his career, and will be finishing the season in his old role.
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In 267 career games as a relief pitcher, Chavez has a 4.96 ERA. He strikes out 7.9 batters per nine innings, and has a 3.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His best season as a primary reliever came in 2013. He had a 3.92 ERA for the Oakland A’s. He allowed only three big flies in 35 outings, while posting an 8.6 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
This season, Chavez has made one appearance in relief. He pitched a single inning, allowing three runs on four hits. He did strike out two batters, but also picked up the loss that night. This could very well be a foreshadowing of Chavez in a relief role for the rest of this season.
In the first inning this season, he owns a 3.43 ERA. So the first inning Chavez takes the mound, his ERA is already above three. In the second inning, Chavez’s ERA skyrockets to 6.43. Now, Chavez’s most likely role with the Halos would be to pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen, similar to what Yusmeiro Petit has done all year. However, Petit has a 2.52 ERA on the year, and owns that role.
Another way to predict Chavez’s efficiency as a reliever is his performance in high leverage situations. In 55 high leverage at-bats this season, hitters average .345 against Chavez. This goes along with a .727 slugging percentage, courtesy of the six big flies he has allowed in such situations.
Chavez was not good enough for the Halo rotation this year. He lasted longer than expected, but has moved back to his home in the bullpen. Unfortunately, it does not appear Chavez will have a role as a reliever, and Angels fans should expect more of the lackluster Chavez for the rest of the year.