Colorado Rockies 2022 player projections: Carlos Estévez
Carlos Estévez had a very odd season for the Colorado Rockies in 2021.
He started the season out as a setup man but by the end of August, Estévez was the team’s closer. He also had both really good luck and really bad luck on the season as well. Overall, he appeared in 64 games and he had a 4.38 ERA with a 4.03 FIP, a 109 ERA+, 11 saves, 15 holds, an rWAR of 0.4, and an fWAR of 0.6.
But when you see that opponents hit .293/.349/.455 against him, a 109 ERA+ indicates that he had some very good luck. The bad luck comes from his BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play). The league average is .300 but when opponents hit the ball in play, they hit .354.
He was also among a few Rockies pitchers that pitched about the same at home and on the road.
Entering 2022, Estévez will likely be the Rockies closer but projections expect a steep decline in production from him.
Projections expect regression from Colorado Rockies reliever Carlos Estévez in 2022
ZiPS projects that Colorado Rockies reliever Carlos Estévez will regress significantly in 2022. It projects that he will have a 4.88 ERA in 64 appearances with a 4.65 FIP, a 99 ERA+, 19 saves, with an fWAR of 0.2.
Steamer projects that he will be even worse as it projects he will have a 5.13 ERA with a 4.71 FIP and a 0.0 fWAR.
When you look at Estévez’s recent past, it’s easy to see why the projections are like that. In 2020, he made 26 appearances and he had an ERA of 7.50 with a 5.69 FIP. He also allowed 12.4 hits per nine innings. Those all got better in 2021 but he still allowed 10.4 hits per nine innings, which is still way too high.
But in 2019, Estévez had a 3.75 ERA in 71 games with a 4.13 FIP and a 1.292 WHIP, and a 3.52:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. All of those numbers are the best in his career.
So which Estévez will the Rockies get: the good (2019), the bad (2020), or the in-between (2021)?
That’s part of the reason why the Rockies have to find some bullpen help when the MLB lockout ends because if they get the 2020 Estévez when he is their closer, it will be yet another season with another awful bullpen for the Colorado Rockies.