2. Matt Strahm Is Blowing Away Major League Hitters
When the KC Royals called up 24-year-old Matt Strahm from AA NW Arkansas to replace Wade Davis, it looked like a desperation move. While Strahm’s prospect stock had zoomed since 2015 when he recovered from Tommy John surgery, he didn’t look like a guy ready for major-league baseball.
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Score one for the Royals scouts.
Moving to the pen in major-league baseball after starting in AA, Strahm’s fastball sits in the mid 90’s and touches 99. He also throws a nasty, tight slider that is his out pitch. Pretty soon after the lefty Strahm arrived in Kansas City, he started blowing hitters away.
You heard me. Strahm isn’t just surviving. He’s not just showing that he belongs in the big leagues. He’s flat out blowing away major league hitters with 19 strikeouts in 10.2 innings pitched (16.0 K/9). His K/BB ratio is a ridiculous 6.33, and his ERA is a minuscule 0.84.
Heck, when he came up I just hoped he might be a useful bullpen LOOGY. Instead, he’s been freaking Cyborg 2 for the last 26 days.
At this point, he’s earned manager Ned Yost’s trust for pitching his way out of some sticky situations. And, on Thursday night, he even unveiled a change-up when he had trouble locating his fastball. The result was another scoreless inning with two whiffs.
Second baseman Whit Merrifield looked like a star for about a month before pitchers found the holes in his swing. So, we had better not jump to conclusions about Strahm. But, he has given the KC Royals production when the desperately needed it.
Next: Reason No. 1