STATE COLLEGE, Pa. --Chris Stratton came to the Pirates in May in exchange for cash considerations to the Angels.
He then promptly injured his side, missing nearly a month. Since he's returned, however, he has been nothing short of a solid bullpen piece. He has posted a 2.55 ERA backed by a solid 3.13 FIP. He strikes out a fair number of batters -- 24.5 percent of his hitters faced since joining the PBC have punched out, a measure above the MLB rate of 23.2 percent for relievers -- and he carries a ground ball rate of 45.1 percent against a fly ball rate of 33.3 percent. Those marks are a tick better than the MLB rates of 43.1 and 35.7 percent, respectively.
Yet, Stratton's most recognizable skill lies a bit deeper than his surface numbers indicate.
Fair warning: You are about to enter the spin zone.