This article isn’t really about the Orioles trading Steve Trachsel this July; it’s more about how the starter nobody wanted is doing a fine job so far with a 3.82 ERA through 13 starts.
Even a cursory glance at the underlying stats reveal that Trachsel’s success this year is a house of cards. First, he has an absurdly low strikeout rate of 2.75 per nine. That’s right, he’s whiffed 23 in 75 innings. Lowest strikeout rate in the Majors given 70 IP? We have a winner, although Zach Duke and his 5.75 ERA is right there.
How about his control? 4.3 walks per nine is not good. Home run rate? Pretty good at 0.84 per nine, but not likely to last since he’s a flyball pitcher.
So what has Trachsel done well this year? He’s allowed just eight hits per nine innings, in large part because of a .241 BABIP. Previous Trachsel BABIPs: .299, .282, .280. Normal stuff. The .241 mark is fourth best in baseball, and has no chance of lasting.
The Orioles, owners of perhaps the biggest regression candidate in the game, would do very well to sell high on him right now. Of course, they’ll wait until his ERA is over 5 instead.