CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – It seemed as if Josh Tomlin had begun to tame his fatal flaw, on his best home run pace since his first year in the league.
Through 13 starts, the man with the highest career HR/FB ratio of all active players had allowed just 11 home runs. The last time the righty had allowed less than a home run per start was 2011, when he surrendered 24 big flies in 26 starts.
With his three homers on Tuesday, the 32-year old drew even, with 14 homers allowed in as many starts, but five of those have now come in his past two starts. The start prior, Tomlin did not allow a home run, but went just 2 2/3 innings.
Tomlin’s issue with the longball has been well-documented, even with the pitcher himself speaking of what happens when he “floats” a pitch to the plate.
The right-hander used five different pitches, three fastballs accounting for 64 of 85 pitches. Tomlin threw 15 sinkers, three of which were put in play at an average of 95.1 mph.
Manager Terry Francona stayed away from criticizing his guy, and focused on the positive at the end.
“Early on, he gave up a couple of solos,” Francona said. “We got a chance to win in the 9th, so we went down fighting. We made some mistakes, but we’ll show up tomorrow and see if we can do a little better.”
Speaking of well-documented, the early struggles of Edwin Encarnacion and his penchant for such starts are just that.
Now in the opposite sense, the success of the 34-year old of recent has become the road equally traveled.
But how good has Encarnacion been?
Entering play on Tuesday, the $60-millon man held the top wRC+ in all of baseball over the past 30 days, the only player over 200 at 206. That leads media darling Aaron Judge and the scorching hot Anthony Rizzo.
The weighted stat is viewed by front offices as the best way to judge what a player has done, with league average being at or near 100. Using that logic, Encarnacion has been worth over double the average player.
Encarnacion is also tops in baseball in wOBA (.481), again leading Rizzo and Judge, respectively.