Washington Nationals: Erick Fedde looks promising in Syracuse

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The Washington Nationals are keen to track Erick Fedde’s development this year. And so far, despite mixed results, the underlying performance is promising.

After getting a taste of the bigs last season, Washington Nationals right-hander Erick Fedde is determined to get back again soon. First off, he has to impress with the Syracuse Chiefs. Despite the indifferent results so far, he’s pitching better than his numbers suggest.

So far, he’s 1-1 with an ugly 4.35 ERA and less than ideal 1.40 WHIP with the Chiefs this season. But there’s reason to believe he’s actually pitching better than he did at the same level last season.

The two main stats we look into when trying to decipher if a pitcher has been victim of bad luck are FIP and BABIP. Both point towards better results ahead for Fedde.

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His FIP currently sits at a cool 3.05, good for a top 10 spot among qualifying pitchers in the International League. His BABIP also sits at a relatively high .363, which is the seventh highest in the league. That’s some pretty rotten luck.

Fedde is making sure to improve on the weaknesses that were on show in the majors last season. He’s striking out batters at the highest rate of his career with a 9.15 K/9.

Although AAA hitting is far from MLB hitting, he finally has his strikeout pitch back, which he lacked when with the Nationals.

He’s also restricting teams to just three home runs all season. That last stat is particularly impressive given he allowed five in his short three-game stint with the Nationals last year.

All of the above was highlighted in a dominant outing against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (what a team name) on Friday. The right-hander went 6.2 innings, allowing just four hits, two walks and an unearned while striking out six. It was the the third time this season he’s managed to not allow an earned run in a start.

Erick Fedde also doesn’t have to worry about the bizarre bullpen experiment that occurred last season. The Nationals plan to have him as a full-time starter all season. This will keep allow him to have mental comfort in a stable role no matter what this year.

However, the Nationals’ starting rotation is arguably the best in the National League right now, and unlikely to change due to performance. But with injuries always looming when you least expect it, Fedde has put himself at the front of the queue for a recall should they strike.

Next: Grades for the Nats Starters

Somewhat unfairly, Erick Fedde fell off of some top 100 prospect lists this winter due to his ill-fated stint with the Washington Nationals. But he’s correcting that with every start now, and may pop back up on them sooner rather than later.

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