6.75 ERA – Michael Wacha has not delivered so far for San Diego Padres
When Michael Wacha signed with the Padres, the purpose of his signing was to bolster the starting pitcher rotation. With Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, and Blake Snell making the top three positions, Wacha fit into the number slot as a veteran pitcher who had delivered a 3.32 ERA for the Boston Red Sox in 2022 with an 11-2 record.
The reality is that Wacha’s pitching has not met his 2022 numbers. Looking at his velocity, care of Baseball Savant, both fastball (-1.3 mph) and offspeed (-2.5 mph) pitches have dropped noticeably. Batters have taken advantage with sweet spot percentage up 10 percentage points and barrel percentage up by two points. Interestingly, Wacha has relied more on his changeup in 2023 with 31 percent of pitches coming that way.
Wacha’s first two outings for the Padres produced wins and his performance against the Braves, 6.0 IP with two hits and 10 strikeouts, was exactly the return that he was signed to produce. Since then, Wacha has given up 15 runs in three outings with 15.1 innings pitched.
The return of Joe Musgrove has helped the Padres’ rotation while Wacha, and Blake Snell’s well-documented slow start, have exerted undue pressure.