San Diego Padres relief pitcher Craig Stammen is a completely different pitcher on the weekends.
It’s Monday night, as I sit down to write out this article. You’re familiar with the feelings, those Monday work blues, where Friday is too far away to show any sort of excitement at the office. Apparently, San Diego Padres reliever Craig Stammen also feels those weekday blues, showing an extreme, night and day difference, between his weekday numbers and his weekend numbers.
Below is a complete breakdown of his performance by day of the week for the 34-year-old relief pitcher.
Those weekend numbers are elite numbers. Across 25.2 innings, Stammen has a combined 38 strikeouts with just one walk allowed and not a single run scored against him. We all love the weekend but Stammen, obviously, really loves the weekend. I highlight these numbers for one reason, because they are fun to look at in a season of numbers that are not so fun to look at.
Overall, Stammen is having the best season of his career. According to Fangraphs, he is already worth 1.9 WAR, his highest mark since 2010 and 2013 when he finished with a 1.1 WAR as a member of the Washington Nationals staff.
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Stammen’s 2.74 ERA is the fourth-lowest in the San Diego Padres pen, highlighting just how phenomenal the bullpen has been in 2018, however, his 2.05 FIP ranks first among starters and relievers. Much of his success can be attributed to his 28% strikeout rate and 4.8% walk rate, aided by a slight uptick in the use of his curveball.
According to Baseball Savant, Stammen is using his curveball about 2% more. The pitch has generated a 60% whiff rate and an enormous amount of softly hit ground balls.
The Padres have Stammen under control for one more season, after electing not to part with him at this year’s trade deadline. Once the market became flooded with relievers, it became less likely that a deal would be made, seeing as AJ Preller was holding out for a worthy return for the reliever experiencing a career year with a year of control. However, don’t expect Stammen to remain with the team through next season. He is sure to be sought after this offseason and at next year’s deadline, especially if he puts up another season of solid numbers.
While having Stammen is a luxury, at 34, he doesn’t fit in the plans for the future of the Padres bullpen. With a massive amount of bullpen arms and minor league starters who project better as relief options down in the farm system, there won’t be a need to pay up, should he remain with the team through the end of his contract. Regardless, we can still appreciate the sensational season Craig Stammen has had with the San Diego Padres.