Wednesday, May 25, 2016

In appreciation of Michael Feliz

In 14 career MLB appearances for the Astros, Michael Feliz has thrown 26IP, 23H/17ER, 36K:8BB. It's a 5.88 ERA/1.19 WHIP. If you wanted to just isolate 2016 he has thrown 18IP, 14H/10ER, 29K:4BB - a 5.00 ERA/1.00 WHIP.

But let's zoom in a little closer on Feliz in 2016 and find good things:

You likely remember his season debut at New York in G2. After McHugh got lit up, Feliz came in for 4.1IP of relief and was highly ineffective: 7H/6ER, 4K:4BB, 2HR allowed. He got sent down to Fresno after that game to make room for Chris Devenski. In his next Houston appearance - on April 26 - Feliz allowed 4H/4R (3ER), 3K:0BB in 1IP - an 11-1 loss at Seattle. This left him with a 15.19 ERA after 5.1IP, when he was throwing 56% strikes - and 18% of those were strikes where batters watched them pass by.

In the seven games since that Seattle game Feliz has thrown 12.2IP, allowing 3H/1ER, 22K:0BB. His only blemish was one of those dumb Boston games that the Astros blew, where he allowed 2H/1ER and took the 11th inning loss. He has thrown 66% of his pitches for strikes, with 18% of those looking, and 18% swinging strikes.

Feliz has been called upon to get 6+ outs in four instances. In those four outings (10IP), he has allowed 1H/0ER, 16K:0BB. In three instances (including the aforementioned Seattle blow-up) he has recorded all three outs via strikeout.

Even with those ugly early season appearances, Righties are hitting .172/.200/.276, and that's with a .333 BABIP; Lefties are hitting .225/.279/.400.

Feliz has faced 37 batters at Minute Maid Park in 2016. His numbers allowed: 1x37, .027/.027/.027 with 22 strikeouts and no walks. This is 22 strikeouts in 12IP with one hit allowed.

In High-Leverage situations (as defined by B-Ref), Feliz has allowed hitters to post a .357 OPS: 2x14 with a double, eight strikeouts and no walks.

The Astros have already said that, while they view him as a starter in the long-term, there are no plans to shift him to the rotation anytime soon. There isn't an opening in the rotation as of now, but it sure will be nice to have Feliz's heat going every 5th day.