32-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Of all the injuries that beset the Nationals in 2015, Stammen's might have been the most overlooked. The veteran right-hander had been the glue in the bullpen for three years, working in short or long...
Craig Stammen Contract Information:
Signed a minor league contract with the Indians in February of 2016.
Stammen was sent down to Double-A Akron on Thursday.
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Craig Stammen Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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2016 Stat Review for Craig Stammen As compared to the top 100 relief pitchers in 2015 (min 55 in)
A collection of stats that measure different skills.
A few general measures of a pitcher's effectiveness.
Balls in play avg. and % of runners left stranded.
Craig Stammen: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Stammen once again soaked up a fair number of innings out of the Nationals' bullpen in 2014, but his fantasy utility took a big hit when his K/9 rate dropped to under seven and his ERA rose by more than a full run. Part of that ERA rise is noise, as his FIP was right in line with the previous two seasons, but the plunge in his strikeouts isn't something that can as easily ignored. There's no obvious culprit in his numbers to explain the drop, so like the ERA, it could just be a blip. Then again, the 31-year-old right-hander's stuff has never been considered plus. If those strikeouts don't return, Stammen will go from being a safe harbor on your waiver wire to a complete fantasy afterthought.
Stammen solidified his spot near the top of the fungible reliever rankings in 2013. While his slider-heavy repertoire doesn't generate a great strikeout rate, the Nationals frequently use him for multiple innings, which gives him plenty of chances to rack up bulk strikeouts and vulture wins (166 and 13, respectively, over the last two seasons), and consecutive years with a sub-3.00 ERA doesn't hurt either. When you're scrambling for a pitcher at the end of your deep league auction or draft, don't forget about Stammen.
After failing as a fifth starter, Stammen has reinvented himself as a setup man. He has not seen a big increase in fastball velocity despite the increased 2012 strikeout rate, so his success might not be sustainable, and he is way down the depth chart when it comes to saves anyway so don't put too much fantasy stock in his turnaround.
Stammen had a lackluster season in Triple-A as a starter last year, posting a 4.75 ERA. He was hurt by a .327 BABIP and 69.3 percent strand rate, and pitched in seven games for the Nationals out of the bullpen. His skills translate to the bullpen because of his lack of a dominant pitch and his 90.5 mph fastball. Additionally, his ability to register groundballs and throw strikes could land him on the 25-man roster by the end of spring training.
Stammen added a slider in 2010, which got him a few more strikeouts but did nothing to help his other numbers. He'll get a look in the bullpen, but when he gets hit Stammen gets hit hard and until that problem is solved it doesn't matter what his role is.
Stammen was the prototypical Nationals pitcher last season, keeping his fringy stuff down in the strike zone just enough to have some degree of success in the majors, if a 5.11 ERA can be called 'success'. To be fair his FIP was only 4.68, but when you live as close to the edge as Stammen, it's hard to see that gap as merely a product of bad luck. Jordan Zimmermann's Tommy John surgery likely keeps him in the rotation picture for one more year, but the organization's pitching depth is improving rapidly and a guy like Stammen will be the first one to get the ax when the kids are ready.