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2/20/1985 (31 y, 11 m, 30 d)
2006 June Amateur Draft - Round: 20, Pick: 25, Overall: 611, Team: Cleveland Indians
$1.2M / 1 Years (2015)
Pestano was released from his contract with the Yankees on Tuesday, LoHud.com reports. (7/6/2016)
Sunday Notes: Meredith Memories, Street Hates FIP,»
David Laurila (FanGraphs)
How Settled is the Indians Bullpen?
Mike Podhorzer (RotoGraphs)
Relief Pitcher Handedness Platoon Splits
Jeff Zimmerman (RotoGraphs)
The Trouble With Vinnie Pestano
Matt Klaassen (FanGraphs)
Bullpen Report: June 16, 2013
Benjamin Pasinkoff (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
There were a number of rookies who had stand-out years in the pen in 2011, and Vinnie Pestano deserves to have his name listed among the best of them. He struck out 84 in just 62 innings, posted a 2.67 FIP, and was part of a lock-down bullpen that helped the Indians jump out to a shocking fast start. And if his Minor League track record says anything, it's that he could even be due for some improvement as a sophomore. Pestano has struck out more than 11 per nine innings pitched the last three seasons, so there is no reason to expect fewer strikeouts, and his 3.48 walks per nine innings in 2011 was his worst rate (not counting five MLB innings in 2010) since he was in A-ball. Pestano had some good luck in 2011 with a lower than expected batting average on balls in play and a higher than expect strand rate, but if he can bring down his walks, he could easily post another FIP well below 3.00. If Chris Perez gets traded or loses his job -- either before or during the season -- Pestano could be in line to get a shot at the closer's role and, if he does, he could be a very valuable fantasy player. (Chad Young)
The Quick Opinion:
Relievers hold little fantasy value when they don't get saves, and Pestano will start the year going for holds. But he could get a shot to close if Chris Perez gets moved or struggles, and he'll provide great rate stats and lots of strikeouts in the meantime.
Vinnie Pestano is the kind of guy who makes you want to stop using Saves in fantasy baseball. He entered 2012 next-in-line to close games in Cleveland and was picked up in most leagues since everyone knew it was just a matter of time until Chris Perez was dethroned. But a funny thing happened on the way to Pestano's coronation -- Perez pitched effectively and locked down the job instead of handing it off. A year later, the conversation has not changed, despite the conversations Perez has had with the press. Pestano is a fantastic reliever who can produce across the board, but will only have true fantasy relevance if a) the Indians trade Perez, b) Perez fails to hold leads or c) you play in a non-saves (or a saves+holds) league. (
The Quick Opinion:
Still first in line to close games in Cleveland, should the incumbent Chris Perez falter or get traded, but as of now, Pestano is only good for strikeouts and rates. If you need Saves, he's a handcuff and a flyer; if not, he's a relief ace.
In 2011, Vinnie Pestano was one of the best relievers in baseball. In 2012 he was a trendy pick to take over the closer role when Chris Perez inevitably lost the job. Instead, Pestano took a step back in 2012 (although he was still quite good) before the wheels (and health) fell off in 2013, and he ended up demoted to Triple-A well before Perez got ousted. Pestano lost some heat in 2013 (down almost two ticks from his 2011 breakout) but continued to strike out more than a batter per inning. The real issue was a spike in his walk rate (from 9.6% and 8.4% in '11 and '12 to 13.2% last season) and a big jump in his home run per fly ball rate (8.6% to 9.1% to 13.6%), both of which may have been related to the elbow issues that pushed him to the disabled list. Pestano has stated excitement for 2014 based on having a full off-season (the WBC cost him time and may have contributed to the elbow injury). If the elbow is healthy and the control comes back, Pestano could find himself piling up strikeouts and holds for Cleveland again, but he is unlikely to pitch the ninth and there is definitely some risk there, so draft accordingly. (
The Quick Opinion:
Pestano's 2013 was a big step back, but there may be valid reasons -- an odd, WBC-shortened off-season; a maybe-related elbow issue -- which led to a spike in walks and homers. If he can bounce back, expect great numbers and a pile of holds. But buyer beware.
After uncharacteristic struggles in 2013, Pestano bounced back some in 2014 -- at least after he was shipped to Los Angeles to join the Angels. Pestano only threw a little more than 18 innings, so health concerns are still there, but his stuff appeared to tick back up. His strikeout numbers improved from his career-low 23% mark in 2013, and his walks dropped nearly 7%, allowing him to post the best strikeout minus walk rate of his career. Small sample, sure, but seemingly good news. Home runs were still an issue, though, and his velocity didn’t bounce back -- dropping below 90 mph on average for the first time in his career -- like one would expect upon glancing at his strikeout totals. The Angels bullpen isn’t overloaded with potential “closers”, but Pestano is a known commodity -- one that gets right-handed batters out and struggles pretty badly versus left-handed batters. He seems to be back on track, but his fantasy upside will be limited either way. (Landon Jones)
The Quick Opinion:
Pestano bounced back, and that’s nice. Injury and platoon concerns still dampen his upside, though. The Angels should have better options than Pestano in late innings.
It's tough to know what you are getting with Vinnie Pestano at this point. In 2011, he looked like he had a shot at being Cleveland's next closer. In 2014, he looked like he had bounced back from back-to-back years of down whiff rates to regain his status as an elite setup man (albeit in a smallish sample size). Of course, in 2015 it all came crashing down as both the righty's strikeouts and walks went the wrong direction, pushing his xFIP to 6.00 and getting him released. Part of Pestano's biggest problem is his ability (or lack thereof) against lefties. His low arm slot and slider give other handed hitters an advantage. He was snatched up by the Yankees this offseason, but on a minor league deal, so he'll have to prove himself either in the minors or at the back end of the Yankees bullpen before he's trusted in high-leverage situations again. If you could guarantee he'd be only deployed against righties, he might eke out some value due to his rates (he might also snag a couple holds on the way). But you can't guarantee that, and since you can't, you can't draft Pestano. (
The Quick Opinion:
The days of Vinnie Pestano being one of baseball's best setup men appear to be in the rear-view mirror. The stuff is still there against righties, but a guy only effective against righties in low-leverage situations doesn't seem like an ideal fantasy target.
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Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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