This article is part of our Regan's Rumblings series.
As I write this Monday afternoon, we still have baseball. The A's are beating up on the Angels, two games were postponed, and a slew of other contests are set to kick off as scheduled. Whether that is still the case once this article is published, who knows? Whether this is my last baseball article of 2020 is similarly unknown. I woke up to lots of "RIP baseball" type Twitter threads after the news about the 11 (late edit: 14?) Marlins players who had tested positive. When asked a couple weeks ago what I thought the odds were of a completed 60-game season, I was probably on the high side at 70 percent. The odds now? Lots would argue zero percent, but I'll be Mr. Optimistic and go 10 percent. All that doom and gloom aside, this week I'm going to flip last week's analysis and look at pitchers with better-than-average hard-hit rates, but relatively high ERAs. Sure, this in a vacuum doesn't mean that these pitchers are going to see their ERA improve, but it is one data point to dive further into.
All numbers are 2019 numbers.
Zack Wheeler, Phillies (HH rate: 31.4%, ERA: 3.96)
Wheeler's hard-hit rate ranked sixth best among qualified starters, so while a 3.96 ERA isn't awful by any means, he could be in line for improvements this year. In his Phillies debut, we saw that, as the right-hander went seven strong innings against the Marlins, allowing one run on five hits with