Jordan Sheffield was a pleasant surprise for the Colorado Rockies in 2021. He was a Rule V Draft pick for the Rockies, as Sheffield was in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ minor league system. The highest level he had pitched at was Double-A prior to 2021.
He ended up pitching to a 3.38 ERA in 30 relief appearances in the majors with a 4.23 FIP and a 1.091 WHIP.
His main issue in 2021 was that he wasn’t healthy for the entire season. He missed three months (June 4 through September 4) with a right lat strain.
But after he returned, he was a setup man for the Rockies and pitched well, as he had a 3.60 ERA and a 3.87 FIP in 11 appearances in September. Overall, he had an rWAR of 0.6 and an fWAR of 0.2.
But the projections show regression for Colorado Rockies reliever Jordan Sheffield in 2022
ZiPS projects that Colorado Rockies reliever Jordan Sheffield will regress a lot in 2022. It projects that Sheffield will appear in 38 games and have an ERA of 5.19, a FIP of 5.06, an ERA+ of 95, and an fWAR of 0.0.
Steamer projects that Sheffield will be even worse, as it projects a 5.87 ERA, a 5.55 FIP, and an fWAR of -0.3.
Given that Sheffield had pitched in Triple-A before 2021 (he had a rehab appearance there), the fickle nature of relievers, and Sheffield only entering his second season in the majors, it’s easy to see why the projections are bearish on Sheffield.
However, Sheffield was one of the few Rockies pitchers that pitched well both on the road and at home. His ERA, opponent batting average, and OPS were below 4.00, .200, and .650 both at home and on the road, whereas most of the Rockies pitchers fared better at Coors Field.
Given that success both at home and on the road and in various different situations (mop-up, middle relief, and setup man roles), Sheffield can easily exceed those projections in 2022.
However, two things still have to happen: Sheffield has to stay healthy and we have to actually have a baseball season.