Last night I finally got an opportunity to get a look at Andrew Heaney as I watched his entire start against the Phillies1. For the first two innings his command was extremely loose; he had trouble locating all of his pitches. When he threw the fastball for strikes he couldn’t locate the curveball and vice versa. The lack of command was why he gave up the two-run home run to Marlon Byrd in the first inning. Heaney had Byrd in a 1-2 count, but since his command of his secondary stuff was loose Byrd geared up for the fastball and when he got it he tattooed the pitch to center field even though Heaney bumped up the fastball velocity from 90-91 mph to 94 mph.
After the first two innings Heaney settled down and at one point retired eight batters in a row, which is a little misleading because the Phillies are a bad offense and there were four lefties in the lineup. The sample size I’ve seen is small, but he’s going to have a hard time getting right handed batters out consistently if doesn’t have fastball command or if he cannot throw the change-up for strikes. He can get away with loose fastball command against lefties because his breaking ball is good enough to miss bats even if he just throws it over for strikes.
I was not high on Heaney when he was called up because he’s a command and control pitcher. I have a bias against that type of pitcher because their margin of error is far less than that of a pitcher with great stuff. Since command and control pitchers have less margin for error their performances can fluctuate more from start to start, which enhances the risk when you stream them.
That said, I picked him up and started him in the Baseball Professor League because of the scouting report, matchup, and we play with quality starts instead of wins.
Despite the poor performance I’m going to keep him because the command profile suggests he should be able to have many quality starts. For leagues that play with wins he’s only 12-team mixed league stream play because I have concerns about how many strikeouts he’s going to have moving forward especially when he faces better lineups with more right handed batters.
After Hector Rondon imploded for five earned runs on Monday, Neil Ramirez got an opportunity to pitch the ninth inning with a five run lead. Other than one bad pitch to Devin Mesoraco, Ramirez looked sharp yet again and it is only a matter of time before he seizes the closer role from Rondon. On Monday Cubs catcher Welington Castillo motioned to Rondon during the inning asking if he was injured or not to which Rondon said he was fine. Rondon was dealing with elbow soreness a week ago so he may not be fully healthy. Either way Ramirez should be owned if you’re looking for saves.
Addison Reed had brutal outing as he blew his second save opportunity of the year via two walks and one hit. The two walks were surprising considering he only had four before the game began. Of the 26 pitches he threw only 13 were thrown for strikes. For the year he has allowed a run in 15 of 33 appearances. Ten days ago the Diamondbacks turned to Brad Ziegler to save a game (which he did successfully) because Reed was dealing with a tired arm. I have to believe Reed’s leash is extremely short considering how ineffective he has been.
1. I watched the first two innings of his major league debut, which isn’t enough to gleam any great insight.