Matt Garza was oh-so-good in 2011. It wasn’t the first time he’d had a strikeout rate over 8.00 K/9 or a walk rate under 3.00 K/9, but it was the first time he’d done them both in the same season. Toss in a career-best 46.3 GB% and you have the recipe for a banner season, and that’s exactly what we saw with Garza and his 3.32 ERA.
Last year he kept the strikeouts and ground balls up and the walks down, but he couldn’t keep the ball in the park; his 16.7% HR/FB ratio was worse than the 11.3% league average and far worse than his 7.7% mark in 2011. Wrigley Field is about league average in terms of homers, so a little change in luck will probably result in a HR/FB correction for Garza that should help him, but his ERA has comfortably sat in the 3.90s in three of the last four years.
At a Glance
Strengths: K, K/9, BB
Neutral: W, IP, QS, ERA, WHIP
Best-case scenario: James Shields (KC)
Likely scenario: Ryan Dempster (BOS), Tommy Hanson (OAK), A.J. Bur...