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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 5/16/19

Chris Sale’s resurgence, finally; waiting on Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel... after the draft; Bryce Harper against sliders

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Craig Edwards: Chris Sale struck out 17 Rockies, and that means he’s... mostly back. Mostly because his fastball still isn’t all the way there, and his tough April showed a different pitch mix and locations than usual. But if the Red Sox plan to keep him healthy all year, which was a struggle in 2018, they will have to deal with a limited Sale fastball velocity at least in limited doses.

Baseball Prospectus | Jarrett Seidler ($): Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel remain unsigned, and the reasons why keep shifting. It was cost and years at first, and now it’s waiting for draft penalties to expire. But some teams should care more or less depending on their draft position, like the Brewers who would only forfeit the 133rd pick instead of a first rounder like others. So waiting, if if it backfires, would yield disastrous outcomes if they don’t just cash in for what would be the value of a fringey prospect, at best.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): Bryce Harper is off to a pretty bad start to his Phillies career, and the slider is partially to blame. As the league emphasizes it more and more, and Harper avoids it, he can no longer just sit on the fastball; on the sliders he does get, which are coming at higher frequencies, he is whiffing more. That’ll have to change or pitchers will continue to press their advantage.