Jeremy Hellickson can’t pitch to contact forever
Jeremy Hellickson has given up the most contact of his career this season. His 84.9% contact rate is the 11th-highest among qualified pitchers in the league this year. In addition, his 7.2% swinging strike rate is the lowest in his career and 12th-lowest in MLB this year.
Hellickson’s game this season has been avoiding hard contact. His 27.9% hard contact rate is 16th-lowest this season. That way, hitters struggle to reach base when they put the ball in play as opposing hitters have a .222 batting average on balls in play against Hellickson. He also gave up few free passes with a 4.5% walk rate headed into Wednesday’s game.
Wednesday night against the Rockies Hellickson couldn’t pitch to contact against Colorado’s heavy-hitting offense. He gave up seven runs on eight hits along with giving up a home run. The Rockies hit line drives 31.6% of the time against Hellickson, prompting them to so many hits.
Hellickson also struggled to keep his control as he allowed four walks. Combined with the high hit count, Hellickson was doomed to a poor start.
After seeing Hellickson get rocked by the Rockies (ba dum tiss) it shows a chink in his armor that more teams could exploit over this season. He was bound to have a poor start with his strategy, and more could come if he doesn’t improve upon it.