The right-handed pitcher has been a mainstay in the Miami Marlins rotation but is enduring the roughest stretch of his career.
He would always give you max effort with at least some type of chance to win the game. This year the effort is there, but the second part isn’t.
Koehler has been, to put it nicely, sub-par this season. By sub-par, I mean awful. Most of his numbers are career worst or right there with it.
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His stuff hasn’t changed either which makes this kind of baffling at this stage in his career. Koehler’s ERA is a career worst 5.60 along with a career worst WHIP at 1.472. His HR/9, BB/9 and H/9 are all second to his worst at 2.3, 3.8, and 9.4 respectively.
Usually a guy in the prime of his career hits a patch like this due to injury. Koehler though appears healthy as his fastball consistently hits between 93 and 95.
His breaking ball also has the normal slow loop it usually has.
How does this happen?
Koehler’s pitch control has been disastrous and has haunted him this year. The key to Koehler’s success is to live at the knees and be able to pitch inside and outside.
His fastball location has to spot on to provide swing and misses along with bad contact. If the fastball is up in the zone it also impacts his change-up.
Guys won’t be fooled when an 85 mph meatball comes in thigh high. He also can’t hang his 75 mph curveball or else it’ll get crushed. These are all things Koehler can’t do but has unfortunately done this year.
There is good news though. Koehler is healthy and hasn’t had any drop off in his pitches. Optimistically thinking, this might just be a really bad funk for him where he can’t get into a rhythm.
Every game has felt like a marathon for the salad. He’s sweating profusely working his butt off to get the results the Marlins want from him.
An example of a guy never getting into a rhythm is Dallas Keuchel last year. He won the CY Young in 2015 but never found a rhythm last year resulting in his worst season as a pro.
Baseballs a funny game sometimes and bad funks can and do happen to the best. Let’s hope Koehler can do what he does best and grind through the funk and find greener pastures.