The Colorado Rockies Should Not Be Starting Yohan Flande Or Gonzalez Germen

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Jul 28, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher W. Rosario (20) talks with starting pitcher Y. Flande (58) during the second inning of a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Yohan Flande

Yohan Flande’s numbers with the Colorado Rockies aren’t as absurd as you probably assumed; eight earned runs in 16 innings entering Saturday, with a 1.3 WHIP and a 2:1 K:BB ratio. He’s clearly not in over his head in the big leagues, but he’s absolutely not a starter, either. Flande has started 178 minor league games, and he’s thrown fairly well, all things considered, but the big leagues are a different game.

Flande’s big league starter splits are alarming; he’s 0-6 with a 5.77 ERA in 10 big league starts, and he’s allowed five home runs and a 1.24 WHIP in 53 innings. As a reliever, though, Flande is just 0-1 with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.182 WHIP over 22 innings. Those aren’t huge sample sizes — and he took a couple tough luck losses in 2014 — but they are telling.

Furthermore, and perhaps more telling, is the regression Flande experiences when hitters see him more than once in a game. Batters slash just .247/.299/.346 against him the first time through the order when he starts games — and an even lower .224/.303/.379 his first time through in relief. By the third time batters get to him as a starter, though, Flande allows four doubles and four home runs in 40 plate appearances, good (bad) enough for a slash line of .400/.450/.857.

Related for Flande are his pitch counts; from pitches 1-25 in his big league career, hitters have slashed .243/.305/.393 and struck out 13 times against eight walks in 120 plate appearances. From pitches 51-75, batters slashed .271/.333/.458, and from pitches 76-100, batters slashed .385/.414/.769. This shouldn’t really be much of a surprise.

As you’d probably guessed (or seen over the last two years), Flande actually has held his own in middle and long relief for the Colorado Rockies — and yet he gets hit around as a starter when he gets into the fifth or sixth inning of games. Let’s not use him as the fifth starter come July 28.

Next: The Case Against Gonzalez Germen