Just so everyone knows, Winston Abreu's FIP is down to 1.55 and he's struck out 47 of 114 batters faced. 41% strikeouts. Daniel Bard and David Robertson both had slightly more in less games and both are now in the majors. Robertson has a 2.26 FIP and Bard has a 2.08 FIP. I cringe to think what Abreu could be doing for our pen right now. Free Winston. Please.
I'm not the biggest fan of Dan Wheeler. Every time he came up during late last year and the off-season I warned about his eventual BABIP regression, and, well I'm not too surprised by the .285 figure. Still, he's not quite this poor. Wheeler's strikeout and walk rates are identical to last season, but his homerun/fly ball percentage is up to 13.3. Wheeler's previous career high came when he split a season between the Mets and Astros way back in 2004. Eventually the homeruns should calm down a bit, once they do his FIP will get below 5.
I'd much prefer Grant Balfour in high leverage situations to Wheeler. Balfour's velocity readings are weird though:
I don't know why he threw harder than before last year, and I don't know why he's throwing less hard this year. Whatever the reason, it's made his fastball far less effective. Last year Balfour's fastball had an outstanding run value per 100 pitches of 2.53. This year the pitch is ineffective at -0.10 per 100. The pitch is still breaking just about the same, so this seems to be either a luck thing or a velocity thing. Either way, it's pretty clear Joe Maddon doesn't have the same confidence in Balfour that he did last year; his average leverage index upon entering is 0.81, last year it was 1.26.