Atchison, 39, had a great 2014 campaign, when he tossed 72 innings of 2.75 ERA ball for Cleveland with 6.1 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9. More broadly, he had performed well — at least according to ERA estimators, if not always results — dating back to the start of 2011. All said, the Indians felt comfortable giving Atchison a $1MM deal for 2015, which was agreed upon last August.
This year has been different, however. While his strikeout and walk numbers are similar, Atchison has not generated groundballs as consistently and has been punished by the long ball (25.0% HR/B, 2.75 HR/9). The average velocity on both his fastball and slider is down two full miles per hour. Even the most optimistic of advanced stats show him as a below-average performer at this point, and his ERA stands at an unsightly 6.86 over 19 2/3 innings.
Adams, 28, has put up big strikeout numbers this year at Triple-A, though that ability has not shown up yet in his limited MLB action over the last two years. In 18 1/3 total big league frames, he has a 4.91 ERA with 5.4 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9.