Astros: Could Chris Devenski regain his All-Star form?
What the Numbers Say
At first glance, 2016 and 2017 were clearly his best years, with a quick decline in 2018 and an even further slide in the wrong direction for 2019. His ERA and WHIP climbed every season in that span, so it seems like things have just been on a constant downhill slide.
But let’s look a little deeper. Devenski’s 2016 season, in which he posted a 2.16 ERA in 108.1 innings, is probably an outlier. He was helped by a career-low walk rate and an abnormally low home run rate, only allowing four homers all season. That rate is far below the rest of his seasons, including his All-Star 2017. So in that sense, expecting him to replicate 2016 would be unfair.
He actually had a career-high walk rate in 2017 but a career-low hit rate, and his 1.2 home runs allowed per nine innings is more of a reasonable expectation. He benefited from a career-best strikeout rate that year as well and managed a 2.68 ERA in 80.2 innings.
For 2018 and 2019, his walk rate stayed close to the same, and his strikeout rate went down slightly but was still plenty healthy. The main difference is his rates of allowing hits and homers took a jump, with his 1.7 homers allowed per nine innings being a little higher than one would like. That, coupled with the fact that he was simply allowing more hits overall, caused his ERA to jump north of 4.00 in each of those seasons.