Finishing with the best single-season ERA in Rockies history at 2.85, Freeland is already at 5.84 this year. He has allowed an NL-high 29 earned runs thus far which is 45 percent of the total 64 he allowed last year. For reference he’s thrown just 22 percent of the innings he did last year to this point, 44.2 vs 202.1.
The good news for the Rockies is his April ERA last season was more or less the same as this year’s. The bad news in Colorado is it’s now May, it hasn’t gotten better and the things that made Freeland so much better he may have reverted on—at least in part.
"“It’s a little mechanical. I think there’s a little component of Kyle trying to do too much. It’s a combination of those two plus I think his release point has led him to lead too many balls up in the strike zone,” Rockies manager Bud Black said."
Coming into last season Freeland changed a bunch of tiny mechanical things mostly based on balance and a higher release point. We had a breakdown of that then.
"“He’s working on a few things, leg kick, hand separation and some technical stuff,” Black said Friday afternoon."
While the data does not bear that Freeland’s release point has on averaged lowered, his velocity has.
Not only that but Freeland’s locations haven’t been as good. His fastballs aren’t reaching the inside corner against righties like they were last year and his off speed stuff is really stunning—in only about 100 pitches—not getting nearly as far out to the outside corner against righties (inside against lefties0 as he did last year.
Essentially there are some early numbers that bear he’s leaving a less velocity-driven ball more over the plate which not surprisingly has led to way better contact.
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In truth Freeland hasn’t been that bad–he’s just been jumped on when he misses. He’s a pitcher with less margin for error because he does not throw 100 or have a wicked off speed pitch.
He’s a location pitcher who has made an abnormal amount of mistakes and hitters have taken advantage of it.
For a Rockies rotation that hasn’t had a quality start in their last 13 games, it’s more or less essential for Freeland to turn things around for the Rockies to keep their postseason streak alive.