Potential Twins Bullpen Target: Raisel Iglesias, RHP, Reds
Image courtesy of © Jeff Curry-USA TODAY SportsRaisel Iglesias, RHP, 29 years-old
Cincinnati Reds, NL Central (38-43)
Under team control through 2020.
2019: 3.86 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 11.85 K/9, 4.13 BB/9 in 32 ⅔ IP
2018: 2.38 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 10.00 K/9, 3.13 BB/9 in 72 IP
What’s To Like
There isn’t much to dislike about a hard throwing reliever with a wipe-out slider and proven effectiveness in late inning, high leverage situations. Actually, it is exactly what Minnesota needs. Albeit it would be even better if he was left-handed but nonetheless Raisel Iglesias is a quality bullpen arm.
From 2016-18 Iglesias was lights out while pitching in a tough and hitter-friendly division. Pitching against the Cubs, Cardinals and Brewers in places like Great American Ballpark, Wrigley Field and Miller Park is no easy task and Iglesias has handled it well.
ERA+ is a park adjusted statistic with 100 being league average. From 2016-18, the Cuban born right-hander posted an ERA+ well above average in each season. Here is his ERA+ each year in chronological order: 169, 181, and 177. It’s important to remember that 100 is league average, meaning Iglesias was superb over that three year stretch.
FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is another great metric to look at when evaluating how a pitcher has performed. Essentially it is a measure of what a pitcher’s ERA would be based on the types of balls put in play against him.
Over his career, Iglesias has posted a 3.50 FIP. His best year was 2017 in which he had a 2.70 FIP and the worst was 4.23 in 2018. Using the chart above you can see he has consistently been above average when it comes to FIP.
For those that prefer conventional metrics like ERA he’s done well in that department too. Over the same three year period his ERA ranged from 2.38 in 2018 to 2.53 in 2016.
2019 has not been as favorable to Iglesias as his stretch from 2016-2018. While he’s maintained a solid FIP of 3.92, his ERA+ has dipped to 121. That's still above average, but much below his career high of 181 in 2017.
Iglesias has also posted a 3.86 ERA which the highest it’s been since his rookie year in 2015. His K/9 is the highest of his career at 11.85 but his BB/9 is also the highest of his career at 4.13.
Another area where he’s declined is WHIP. From 2016-2018 his WHIP hovered barely above 1.00. However, in 2019, his WHIP sits at 1.44. It’s not ideal for a late inning reliever to be allowing almost 1.5 base runners for every inning he pitches.
Iglesias is still only 29-years-old and while he’s declined a bit this year he’s still an above average pitcher. Perhaps moving out of the hitter friendly NL Central and transitioning to the AL Central would allow him to regain his 2016-2018 dominance. If Minnesota does in fact acquire him they will certainly be hoping that’s the case.
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