Best Pitcher on the Road: Kyle Nelson (2.12 ERA)
To be fair, Zac Gallen is probably the top candidate for best pitcher on the road from a season ago. But I want to give some love to the 26-year-old lefty, Kyle Nelson.
In 17 innings pitched on the road last season, Nelson posted a 2.12 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and a .172 BAA. He also struck out 14 batters and walked 7 across those 17 innings. Every ball club needs a reliable lefty that can come out of the pen. It seems the D-Backs have that blessing with Nelson. Incredibly, like Zach Davies, Nelson only relies on two pitches; a slider and a 4-seam fastball. Nelson relies mainly on the slider, but when he throws his fastball, it is very effective. In 2022, batters only hit .162 against Nelson’s fastball.
Heading into this upcoming season, do not be surprised to see more of Nelson’s fastball and more of Nelson in crucial moments on the road…
Worst Pitcher on the Road: Noe Ramirez (8.38 ERA)
Wow… 8.38 huh? Ramirez must’ve had countless wistful stares, looking at nothing, in particular, a season ago. In 19.1 innings pitched on the road last season, Ramirez posted a 2-4 record with an 8.38 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, and a .304 BAA. He gave up 18 earned runs in 19.1 innings pitched. There are no positives to grasp from those numbers. Ramirez relied on 3 pitches; 4-seam fastball, curveball, and changeup. His 4-seam was effective, keeping hitters under a .200 AVG; but his offspeed pitches were like batting practice for the opposition. Batters hit almost .300 off his curveball, and almost .250 off of his changeup. The slugging percentage against his curveball was an unbelievable .611. Yikes!
Hopefully, Ramirez can turn it around on the road for 2023. This up-and-coming D-Backs team really needs him, more specifically they need the home version of Noe. At home last season, Ramirez was a solid choice out of the bullpen. In 30.2 innings he posted a 3-0 record with a 3.23 ERA. Complete night and day difference. If he is able to figure out how to be effective on the road, he will have a lot of appearances coming his way…