Ender wrote:His velocity is up to where it used to be is the big difference. However he has had a good bit of luck both good and as bad as well, a combination of allowing very few groundballs and a lot of line drives and flyballs will catch up to him eventually and I'm not a believer that his K rate will stay so high but on the other hand he isn't stranding nearly as many runners as you'd expect.
Why do you expect his K-rate to plummet? He's struck out at least as many batters as innings pitched in every start this season. It may not stay at 12+/9 innings, because that is ridiculous for an AL pitcher who doesn't have the benefit of facing opposing pitchers or the much weaker NL lineups, but I don't see any trend that would indicate it will drastically decline.
How is he having good luck? Using the saber stats, his FIP is 2.10 while his ERA is 3.55, which would indicate he is having poor luck.
I hope he continues to pitch up in the zone rather than become a groundball pitcher, like the former pitching coach tried to remake him as last season (with poor results.) You can be a successful flyball pitcher and pitch up in the zone if your fastball is good enough. Not all flyballs are equal. I'm not sure if I buy that a certain percentage of flyballs have to go for HR.
As far as him pitching better than earlier this season, he was awful against the Blue Jays (opening day). But he's been pitching well since then, imo. In his other two bad starts this season, I think he ran into bad luck. He had a perfect game through 4 innings against the Mariners, and what should have been a 1-2 run fifth inning was turned into a 5-run inning by an inning-changing error, suicide squeeze, infield single. He wasn't getting hit hard that game. He wasn't as sharp against the Angels (had poor control), but his line was made ugly by Ryan Raburn's little league defense (he made two misplays that should have been ruled errors. JV gave up a 3-run homer & the runs should have been unearned) and some groundball singles finding holes. It was only a matter of time until his stats reflected how he was pitching, because nearly every baserunner was scoring against him in his first few starts.