By R.J. Anderson //
In a past life, Wade Davis attempted to woo Lady Luck. Instead, he clearly offended her, leaving himself hexed for this one. At least, that’s how Davis must feel given his schedule of opponents this season. He started with consecutive games against the Yankees and Red Sox, and has since faced them both twice, along with Texas, the White Sox twice, and the Blue Jays.
Davis endured through a May 19 start against the Yankees, wielding an impressive 3.35 ERA at that point. His ERA now sits at 4.94. His cumulative statistics in those five starts in between:
That works out to an ERA of 7.89. Simply put: that’s bad. His seasonal numbers suggest that he’s not quite as good as that 3.35 ERA reflected, but he’s far superior to the 7.89 figure. With top prospect Jeremy Hellickson tearing up Triple-A, the question might not be whether Davis is rosterable in fantasy leagues, but rather if the Rays will even keep him on the 25-man major league roster, let alone in the starting rotation.
Lately it seems Davis is on the right path. He’s struggled with his command at times, yet his June strikeout-to-walk ratio is an impressive 15:1. That includes two starts where Davis didn’t walk anyone. The home run bug he’s encountered could be tied partially to bad luck, but also to his predictability in pitching. Here is his fastball usage by count:
Adding to the confusion is that Davis possesses what most scouting reports describe as plus breaking pitches. Yet, if one were simply to look at his usage patterns, it would seem he’s either uncomfortable throwing those pitches or simply doesn’t want to. Either way, it’s a problem. Part of pitching is having the upper hand when it comes to game theory. If the batter knows what’s coming, he better not know where it’s going, and if the batter doesn’t know what’s coming or where it’s going, then he’s probably not going to hit you well.
Expect a league average or slightly worse performance from Davis heading forward. In standard 12-team mixed leagues, that makes him a fringe starter at best.