Paulino’s home run issues
In his second stint with the major league club, Paulino has shown an increased level of comfort at the major league level this season. After throwing three walks in seven big league innings last season, he is attacking hitters more with only seven walks in 29 innings. That also has increased his strikeout rate, striking out 26.6 percent of batters faced.
However, with that said, his comfort inside the strike zone has hurt him this season. With a walk percentage only at 5.5 percent, Paulino is allowing hitters to hit .300 against him this season, giving up 36 hits so far this season.
As a fly ball pitcher, the amount of contact Paulino is giving up is a major problem, especially in a home ballpark like Minute Maid Park. For example, in his last start against the Oakland A’s, Paulino gave up a career-high seven earned runs on seven hits and four walks in four innings of work. Of those seven hits, four of them left the yard, including two home runs by A’s slugger Khris Davis.
Take away his start against the A’s and Paulino has done much better with the home run numbers. Before this start, he had only given up four home runs in 25 innings of work. However, when you combine a low-to-mid-nineties fastball with a flyball percentage of 50.6 percent, bad things are likely to happen. So far this season, Paulino has a fly ball-to-home run percentage of 19 percent.
Paulino has the stuff to be a very good pitcher in this league. However, while he keeps continuously throwing hittable pitches in the strike zone, he will continue to get hit very hard.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***