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He’s baaaaaaaaack. April 11, 2018

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball, Sports.
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RoblesvsNL

Yes, we’re talking about Hansel Robles.

Robles struggled through spring training; his statistics last y

ear were inconsistent at best. In a 7-5 season, he put up a 4.92 ERA with opponents slashing .226/.332/.418. Nevertheless, he had flashes of adequacy: in July, he went 2-0 in 6 games with a 1.35 ERA over 6 2/3 innings pitched, and although he was 1-4 with a blown save in August, he put up an acceptable 2.81 ERA with an opposing slash line of .135/.308/.192. For a guy with a .52 GB/FB ratio and a reputation as serving up homers, going a month and a half with only two home runs was quite an improvement.

In his small sample size this year, Hansel has shown a .22 GB/FB ratio – that is, the vast majority of the contact made results in fly balls, making him a liability within Citi Field. (Surprisingly, he had a .281 SLG against at home, compared with a .585 on the road – shocking considering Citi’s short fences.) Still, manager Mickey Callaway called him up when the team needed a reliever and has been using him somewhat regularly – Hansel is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five games so far.

Choosing Hansel’s appearances carefully seems crucial: the graph above shows Hansel’s OBP-against by batting order position, compared with the league’s. Gary Cohen last night noted that Callaway seems to be bringing Hansel in primarily against the bottom of the order, and in fact in 2018 he was significantly more effective against hitters hitting sixth or later than the National League average.

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