Craig Stammen
Craig Stammen
34-Year-Old PitcherRP
San Diego Padres
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Stammen had an odd 2017. He had made a career with the Nationals of working medium leverage situations and not getting hurt with the long ball. He worked a lot of innings and vultured a few wins in a relief role in 2012 and 2013. He came back last year after missing most of the past two seasons with an elbow injury and promptly posted the worst home-run rate of his career in San Diego of all places. Pitchers returning from elbow surgery typically struggle with command, so we can give Stammen a pass for last year. He is now a free agent, and one that should not have trouble finding a home given that he was able to pick up where he left off with his pre-injury workload. Stammen has a splits issue -- he's very good against righties -- so he has a ceiling in terms of his role in the late innings. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Padres in January of 2018.
Returns to setup role
PSan Diego Padres
September 4, 2018
Stammen gave up a run on two hits and a walk while striking out one over an inning in Monday's win over Arizona.
Stammen was expected to serve as closer while Kirby Yates (personal) was away from the team this weekend, but the Padres didn't produce a save opportunity over that span. The veteran reliever will revert to his usual setup role. He has a 2.65 ERA and 20 holds over 68 innings this year.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .261 272 60 16 66 16 0 9
Since 2016vs Right .199 352 96 28 63 11 0 5
2018vs Left .258 135 36 8 32 10 0 1
2018vs Right .195 160 46 8 29 7 0 1
2017vs Left .264 137 24 8 34 6 0 8
2017vs Right .202 192 50 20 34 4 0 4
2016vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
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Since 2016Home 3.54 1.06 76.1 4 4 0 10.0 1.9 1.1
Since 2016Away 2.33 1.19 77.1 6 2 0 8.3 3.3 0.6
2018Home 3.31 1.05 35.1 3 2 0 10.4 1.5 0.5
2018Away 2.13 1.05 38.0 5 1 0 9.7 2.4 0.0
2017Home 3.73 1.07 41.0 1 2 0 9.7 2.2 1.5
2017Away 2.52 1.32 39.1 1 1 0 6.9 4.1 1.1
2016Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Stat Review
How does Craig Stammen compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
91.7 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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 relief as needed and averaging 80.2 innings with a 2.93 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 74:26 K:BB ratio over that stretch, but a poor spring proved to be the product of a torn flexor tendon in his arm and he was lost for the year after just five appearances. Without Stammen to soak up those middle innings, the Nats struggled to bridge the gap from their starters to Drew Storen and eventually made a trade for Jonathan Papelbon that backfired spectacularly. If Stammen can return to full effectiveness following his surgery, he'll be an important part of the bullpen once again, but given his middling low-90s fastball/slider arsenal he doesn't have much margin for error.
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.
More Fantasy News
May serve as closer this weekend
PSan Diego Padres
August 31, 2018
Stammen could be called upon to serve as San Diego's ninth-inning man while Kirby Yates (bereavement) is away from the team.
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Picks up 19th hold
PSan Diego Padres
August 22, 2018
Stammen danced around two hits and a walk to fire a scoreless inning with a strikeout in Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Rockies.
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Fires scoreless inning Sunday
PSan Diego Padres
July 23, 2018
Stammen tossed a scoreless inning with a pair of strikeouts in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader against the Phillies.
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Records five strikeouts in two innings
PSan Diego Padres
July 16, 2018
Stammen struck out five of the eight batters he faced and allowed two base hits Sunday in the Padres' 7-4 loss to the Cubs.
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Nabs 13th hold
PSan Diego Padres
June 23, 2018
Stammen recorded one out after allowing a hit and a walk in Friday's 6-2 win over the Giants.
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