Jason Vargas is pitching out of his mind right now. He has allowed just one run in 20.7 innings (0.44 ERA) with a 0.77 WHIP. Perhaps more impressive than the surface results is the fact that he has a 31% strikeout rate powered by a 13% swinging strike rate. His 3% walk rate is great, too, though less surprising given his career 7% mark. Three starts of a 3% for a guy who rarely walks batters isn’t crazy. The rest is just insane, though.
His velocity has always been underwhelming (~86-88 mph) and it’s on the low end this year at 86.6. Vargas is using essentially the same pitch mix, too: 55% fastballs, 30% changeups, and 15% curveballs. By the way, it’s worth noting that this kind of started last year in three late-September as he managed a 2.25 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 23% K rate, and 10% SwStr rate in 12 IP. So comparing the 32.7 innings from 2016-17 to his 380 from 2013-15, the biggest differences I found were with the fastball and changeup against righties. There’s also a wholesale zone percentage change, up to 51% against a career 45% and sitting 39-41% from 2013-15, which shows up in the fastball/changeup against righties.
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