Sarris: Kyle Freeland, old-school ace

From SABR member Eno Sarris at The Athletic on September 18, 2018:

There’s​ no question​ that Kyle Freeland is doing it​ —​ he’s trying to​ be the​ second qualified starter​ to​ ever​​ pitch in Coors Field and put up an ERA under three, so he’s doing it. The question is how?

He doesn’t even have average velocity in today’s game, as his 92.5 mph four-seamer is below the league number in that category (92.8 for starters). He doesn’t have a standout secondary pitch, as none of his pitches rank in the top 10 for whiff rate in their respective pitch types. He doesn’t really do it with grounders, either, as his 48 percent ground-ball rate is good but not in the top 30 for starters with at least 100 innings.

It turns out that Kyle Freeland is a throwback starter. The way he succeeds would fit right in during another era.

For one, he throws a lot of different pitches. And some have improved this year.

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Originally published: September 18, 2018. Last Updated: September 18, 2018.