Ryne Stanek Once Again Looks Great Out of the Astros Bullpen

San Francisco Giants v Houston Astros
San Francisco Giants v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages

Ryne Stanek has regained form over the last two weeks

Ryne Stanek was lights out in 2022. Stanek set a franchise record with a 1.15 ERA in his 2022 campaign. Walks were a bit problematic, as his 16.4% walk rate was in the first percentile in baseball, limiting the times he took the ball in October, but by all accounts it was a fantastic season.

The beginning of Stanek's 2023 was anything but. Through 12 appearances, Stanek had a 5.56 ERA and a 5.23 FIP. Teams were hitting Stanek and they were hitting him hard.

He's been especially susceptible on the road and in high leverage spots. In nine home games, Stanek has a 1.86 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. His ERA jumps to 6.75 with a 2.10 WHIP when on the road.

In low leverage spots, opponents are hitting .242 with a .615 OPS on Stanek, fine enough numbers. He's been great in medium leverage spots, holding opponents to a .067 average and .443 OPS. In high leverage spots, he's gotten touched up, allowing a .308 average and an .885 OPS.

The dominant Astros bullpen of 2022 looked weakened with the diminished Stanek and Montero. But over his last five outings, Stanek has righted the ship and looks to be back on track.

In his last five appearances, Stanek has been scoreless. He's allowed only one hit and walked three while striking out seven batters. His ERA on the season is down to 3.86. Over the last two weeks, he's held opponents to a .273 OPS.

He still has some scary underlying metrics according to Statcast (third percentile walk rate, 13th percentile hard hit rate, 45th percentile xwOBA/xERA), but he is returning more to his career norms. His 63rd percentile xBA, 66th percentile xSLG, 93rd percentile whiff rate and 96th percentile barrel rate give hope he will be close to his 2022 form here soon.