Mets: Hansel Robles is throwing strikes but serving up home runs aplenty
By Tim Boyle
Hansel Robles is throwing plenty of strikes for the New York Mets this season but also giving up home runs at a horrific rate. Is this a coincidence?
New York Mets relief pitcher Hansel Robles hasn’t won over very many fans in his MLB career. Often untrustworthy, the 2018 campaign may include some of his worst efforts.
Robles started the year pitching incredibly well like many Mets relievers. In his first two innings, Robles struck out six batters. It looked like he had a chance to finally find a permanent spot in this team’s bullpen.
Unfortunately, he was shipped down to Triple-A in mid-April. I don’t want to say this messed with his stuff because the issue with Robles had already started.
He’s giving up way too many home runs.
We’ve seen a different version of Robles in 2018. Through 15.1 frames, he has struck out 20 batters for an impressive rate of 11.7 strikeouts per nine.
In each season of his big league career, Robles has fanned more than a batter per inning. His 2015 rookie season included a career-best 10.2 strikeouts per nine with the last two seasons at 9.8 and 9.5.
The major difference with Robles has been how few walks he is allowing. For the past two seasons, Robles averaged more than four walks per nine. It’s a bad quality about his game many would have liked to see disappear. It has dissipated somewhat as Robles sits with a much better rate of 2.9 walks per nine.
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This hasn’t exactly helped Robles other than saving his ERA from ballooning out of control. Because Robles is throwing more strikes, he’s giving up a ton of home runs. After 13 appearances, we’ve seen him walk five batters and surrender six home runs.
As of now, Robles has served up home runs at a rate of 3.5 per nine.
Home runs are killing Robles this season. It may have something to do with the number of strikes he is throwing.
So far, 66% of his pitches have been strikes. This number is up 5% from the last season.
This is a nice total, but I have to wonder whether or not these balls in the strike zone are very good quality. It wouldn’t be fair to rip Robles for pitching with better control.
Unfortunately, though, it looks as if he may not have the arsenal to save those balls around the plate from going long distances.
Robles is already more than halfway to reaching the 10 home runs he gave up last season in 56.2 innings.
The summer months haven’t even fully arrived, which could mean a disastrous year for Robles is on the horizon.
Robles has been bad this year and I’m sure there are many reasons for it. Let’s keep our eye on his walk and strikeout totals. It’s just an early theory, but could it be that he’s so eager to earn the K that he’s adding HRs instead?
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Do you think Robles can straighten himself out on the mound this year?