|Profile: Let's start with this - I love Carlos Carrasco and I think he will be excellent. But there are some troubling signs. While some will point to durability issues, it was freak injuries, not arm issues, that shortened his 2016. When he pitched, some numbers moved the wrong way. He saw a decrease in velocity and fewer swinging strikes. Batters swung less often and made more contact. They also made harder contact and hit more fly balls, leading to a spike in home runs allowed. His K%-BB% was the lowest it has been in his three-year run of excellence. The whole package was still good for a 3.32 ERA and matching 3.32 xFIP, with the big question being whether the spike in home run-to-fly ball ratio was a fluke or a pattern. If the former, that 3.32 looks legit. If the latter, his 3.72 FIP might be more of a concern. After his brilliant 2015, last season was something of a letdown. Going into this year, I'd expect another step back, but not a big one. Look for the HR/FB% to come back down a bit, but not all the way to league average, leaving him with an FIP (and likely an ERA) closer to 3.50 than 3.30. (Chad Young)|
The Quick Opinion: Carlos Carrasco was brilliant in 2015 and very, very good in 2016. I'd bet on very good in 2017, a continuation of a slow but noticeable decline for a pitcher who will turn 30 just before Opening Day.