I once spent what felt like my life arguing with a colleague who hated German footballer Mesut Ozil and wouldn’t be moved no matter what statistical evidence, stunning highlights or expert analysis he consumed. For years, my friend insisted Ozil was rubbish, and for years he was wrong.
Then, Ozil finally lost a step, clashed with his coach, and was injured on the bench. Instead of acknowledging that circumstances had changed, my friend claimed victory, as if he had foretold the truth rather than stumbled upon it after the fact. Incidentally, I’m totally fine with him, and in no way pissed off at him, I’m bringing him to an audience that likely knows or cares a little bit about semi-retired European football playmakers, and even less about my ex-partner. No sir. Anyway, this experience taught me an important lesson about mathematical symbiosis: If you hold an opinion long enough, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, sometimes the mountain comes to Muhammad.
In that spirit, I declare that I was right Ren Stanek Along. Back in 2012, I was a huge fan of Stanek. In his days at the University of Arkansas, he was one of the top candidates overall in the 2013 draft. I saw his fastball speed and pass slider and imagined him as no future. 1 appetizer. And when Stanek continued to worry about Boy Scouts in his freshman year – he fell all the way to no. 29 in the draft, although 1.39 ERA was posted as a start in the SEC – I was not affected. I insisted Stanek would be fine.
For nine years, she kept the faith. Through injuries, through driving problems, through transitions to the playing field. When Stanek finally started a handful of major league games, it was an opener, Blaster to Galen BexMr. He’s been effective in short stints, but a trade with the Marlins in mid-2019 and a month-long match with COVID in 2020 pushed his career to the brink of collapse.
Suffice it to say, things have changed. Last year, Stanek became a major part of the Bullpen Astros, appearing in 13 of Houston’s 16 playoffs, holding the hitter on the .139/.184/.333 streak, and posting a WPA positive in the first 12 of those games. This year, well, here’s a list of the best early recovery in baseball this season:
Best Relaxing Ages, Season 2022
During Sunday, minimum 40 IP
It took nine years, but Stanek was finally as dominant as he was in Arkansas. An ERA’s 1.17 stint in 58 appearances for the top seed in MLS might not have been a Cy Young’s 200-round season, but it’s close enough that I can claim victory in the marketplace of ideas.
Many of these names above will be familiar to you from A piece written by Ben Clemens last week About how the best boosters dominate in baseball in particular. Among the players he mentioned are the ones you will remember in several years: Helsley throws the boulder at 104 mph, Diaz breaks into a trumpet bang like a Roman consul, Claes cuts between opponents as Mariano Rivera, plus six marks. But Stanek, which ranks second among the analgesics in the ERA, was not worth mentioning. Like it’s not like that In fact elite.
The Astros don’t seem to think so either, or at least they don’t use it that way. Of the six Astros painkillers with at least 40 rounds, Stanek ranks only fourth in the GMLI, at 1.22, putting him in a group of important middle relievers, but hardly a highly influential firefighter or closer. Some of that is due to the presence of Houston which has a loading base: in addition to the nearest Ryan PresleyThe Astros have invested significant resources in the past 18 months to sign or trade Hector NeresAnd the will SmithAnd the Phil MattoonAnd the Rafael Monteiro. They all did well, as they did Brian Abro. Houston’s abundance of spinners will boost playoffs affluence Justin Verlander assistant Hunter Brown Already moved to another place, and one or both Jose Urquidi And the Luis Garcia He will likely join him there by October.
The other reason Stanek’s exceptional running bar season goes unnoticed is that he’s most marked in one specific way: the sheer number of punctured season red flags he’s managed to hit. In an era when the best painkillers were taking out so many hitters and no one walking, Stanek is a throwback to Matt Manti–Armando BenitezWrite a comfortable ace that comes out but walks a lot of guys and you end up watching it pop up through your fingers. I’m not complaining – everything that was cool when I was an average student seems to be back in style. Just today I saw TikTok on how to make your hair look like Shawn boy meets world. But I digress. Let’s take a look at some of Stanek’s stats:
Rin Stanek’s Ranking in Key Lucky Indicators, Part 1
*Out of 198 diluted with at least 40 IP.
Metrics derived from statistics are no more satisfactory:
Rin Stanek’s Ranking in Key Lucky Indicators, Part Two
Source: baseball world
* Out of 360 shooters with at least 1.25 BF per team game.
Calling Stanek’s fluky season sounds callous, and it’s certainly not my intention to discredit the great work he has done this year. Players whose surface stats look good but are actually bad are usually marked with an F. Stanek, based on the basic numbers, is a good attenuator that ERA makes it look Dennis Eckersley.
What is then? Well, basically the same shooter as last year: a good average loyalist with an above-average strike rate and a slightly worrisome walking rate. It’s less prone to Homer this year, but that’s all there is to it. His improved LOB% and runner’s inheritance rate (up to 41% from 19% in 2021) comes despite very similar performance to base runners (.257 wOBA discount in 2021, .267 this year). But it’s worth repeating that he was a working horse in the playoffs for the Astros that nearly won the title, and with both LDS and LCS losing a day away, more of this post-season than ever will be decided by teams four and five. – The best sedative.
In other words, players like Stanik. As much as the Astros need star performances from Verlander, Pressly, etc., they need their entire promotional staff to appear. Lucky for them, in the seventh and eighth inning they have an ace, just as I expected all those years ago.