After a double scored one run in the fourth inning, Skaggs served up a three-run home run to put the Angels in a 4-0 deficit from which they didn't recover until the bottom of the ninth inning. He's given up four runs in each of his last two outings, leaving him with a 3.43 ERA and 11:4 K:BB ratio in 21 innings. Skaggs is slated to face the Nationals in Washington Tuesday.
When reports from the
Higher velocity alone doesn't guarantee strikeouts, and in turn, strikeouts don't guarantee Fantasy value. The good news for Skaggs' current and potential owners is that, in addition to putting up some nice Fantasy stats, he has compiled supporting stats that suggest he could enjoy continued success. Though he has struggled with command at times, Skaggs has thrown 66 percent of his pitches in his first two starts for strikes, and that's been reflected in his issuing of one walk in 15 innings.
The one worry that Skaggs' owners might have is his relative lack of strikeouts (only nine to date), but the Ks should come in a matter of time. Skaggs' average fastball velocity is down a touch from the spring, but it's still hovering around 93 mph, according to BrooksBaseball.net. He is also averaging spin rates on his two- and four-seamers that are close to 200 rpm higher than they were last season (per TexasLeaguers.com). As former major league pitcher Zach Day noted in a Baseball Prospectus piece this offseason, spin correlates positively with swings-and-misses. It also correlates with higher flyball rates, so Skaggs' current 60 percent ground ball rate and 0.60 HR/9 ratio are probably extreme flukes.
Still, even with more homers in his future, Skaggs could benefit his owners with a higher strikeout rate to go along with a low WHIP. If the home runs don't get out of control, he could help with ERA, too, which would make him worth using in standard mixed leagues.
Skaggs owns a 2.40 ERA with a 9:1 K:BB ratio in 15 innings pitched through his first two starts. He'll make his next start Wednesday at home against Oakland.
There was a time not too long ago when
So I was surprised Skaggs' eight shutout innings at Houston over the weekend didn't attract more attention in Fantasy -- surprised and happy to take advantage.
Granted, he lost some of his luster last year with a poor showing in the minors. It's why the
Over the course of his minor-league career, control wasn't so much of an issue for Skaggs, so I wouldn't say he's at risk of going the way of Bauer. He's still unproven, of course, but knowing how good he could be, now might be your last chance to get him for nothing. I'd rank him just behind James Paxton in terms of starting pitchers whose first starts revealed the most.
"That's what you have to do -- you have to keep your secret weapon in your back pocket," Skaggs said, per The Los Angeles Times. "I don't think any of the teams knew that. I don't even think the Angels knew I had one, honestly."
Skaggs said he threw his two-seamer "90 percent of the time" Saturday, as he set up his curveball and changeup.
"That's why you see all those 90- and 91-mph [fastballs] instead of 93 and 94," Skaggs said. "They kept swinging at it, so why not get outs early in the count and throw some two-seamers? I threw it in the bullpen and it was good. It turned out to be a plus pitch for me today."
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|4/16/2014 vs Oakland|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2010||AFX-Cedar Rapids Kernels||8||4||3.62||19||14||0||0||0||82.0||78||35||33||6||4||21||82|
|2010||AFX-South Bend Silver Ha||1||1||1.69||4||4||0||0||0||16.0||13||3||3||1||0||4||20|