Ed Mujica Should Be Thankful He Pitches Half His Games At Petco

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Ed Mujica throws three pitches: a somewhat straight fastball, a slider with good down-and-away movement, and a splitter with impressive late drop.

He also throws from a fairly low arm angle, although well above sidearm.

We’d expect Mujica to be something of a groundballer, given that set of pitches and the low arm angle, but we would be very wrong in that assumption.

Mujica’s groundball rate of 39.0% last year was easily a career high. This year, he’s at 30.2%, and 33.9% of contact off him for his career stays on the ground.

That’s extremely low, and places Mujica right up there with the most flyball-happy pitchers in the majors.

Not surprisingly, this leads to quite a few homers. Mujica’s allowed five in 15 1/3 innings this year, and has a 1.41 HR/9 rate for his career.

The elevated homer rates explain why his FIP is over 6 despite a stellar4.67 K/BB ratio. Last year, his homer rate was less than half of what it is this season, he had a 4.00 K/BB ratio, and still, Mujica’s FIP couldn’t get below 4.00.

All I can say is that Mujica should be very thankful he pitches half his games in a home park that forgives his flyballing ways. It makes sense why he couldn’t stick with Cleveland before coming to San Diego; the neutral-ish environment there would eat his fly balls alive (or, at least, it would do so on one in every eight or so).

As long as Mujica’s a Padre, he should be fairly effective, although Josh Geer showed us last year that Petco alone can’t entirely mask a pitcher’s homer propensity. Josh Banks had homer issues in San Diego too. Whatever the case, I wouldn’t expect Mujica to last long after leaving the Padres, and if I’m his agent, I do everything in my power to keep the Venezuelan righty in San Diego.

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