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Why the Top Ace Pitchers for the MLB Seem to be Struggling

Is it time to worry about these 4 MLB ace pitchers’ struggles? Are Matt Harvey, Masahrio Tanaka, Corey Kluber and Jake Arrieta going through more than just a slump?

Jake Arrieta is Much More Hittable in 2017

2 years ago, Jake Arrieta managed to win the NL Cy Young, and this was thanks to a traditionally excellent 2nd half. Although he did not go on to repeat this performance in 2016, he was nonetheless a very fine player.

Arrieta allowed 4 runs in 6 innings in the game against the Cardinals on Sunday, and this gave him a 5.44 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP in 44 2/3 innings for this season. His walk rate, at 2.6 BB/9 has been okay –it is regular, old hits that have proven a problem.

This may be more than just a slump: Arrieta has thrown just 44 2/3 innings this year, but there are other troubling trends for the early season. His velocity is down, his ground ball-rate is way down, and his hard contact allowed has skyrocketed. This is not a good combo.

Matt Harvey’s Problems are Both On- and Off-Field

Matt Harvey has certainly been making headlines, but for all the wrong reasons. His team put him under suspension for 3 games after he violated rules, and it was later revealed that Harvey did not bother to report for a game after a night out on the town and a morning of golf. The online betting NZ makes available, as well as that of bookmakers around the world, have had to start taking into consideration Harvey’s seeming lack of respect for the game.

In Harvey’s recent start, on Friday, the Brewers blasted him for 5 runs on 7 hits, and 5 walks in 5 innings. He struck out 6. He now has a 5.63 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 40 innings for 2017. It is definitely time to start worrying about this player.

Corey Kluber is on the DL

Indians ace Corey Kluber is on the disabled list, unlike the other pitchers in this article, as he is suffering from strain to his lower back. Recent updates suggest that he started throwing on flat ground this weekend, and the team remains hopeful that he will be back in rotation by month end. They will not push it, however, for obvious reasons, and spectators and punters can expect the Indians to tread carefully.

Masahiro Tanaka not Living Up to His Reputation

The Astros managed to spoil Jeter’s Sunday evening at Yankee Stadium by teeing off against Tanaka. Houston then hammered 3 first inning home runs, and ended up with a lead of 6 to 0. Tanaka went on to finish the night having let a career-high 8 runs, including 4 homeruns, in a career low of 1 2/3 innings. The player now has an ERA of 5.80 and 1.44 WHIP in 45 innings.

Tanaka was a contender for the AL ERA crown for most of last season, finishing with an ERA of 3.97 and a WHIP of 1.08 in 199 2/3 innings. It was the player’s 1st season since he came over from Japan, and this performance saw him receive a 7th place finish in the voting for AL CY Young. It is most certainly time to start worrying.

-Roland Fuller

Copyright © 2017 | Off The Bench Baseball

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