Jesse Hahn has been a bright spot during a diappointing  season. Acquired in January from Tampa with Alex Torres for Logan Forsythe (among others), Jesse was not expected to contribute at the major league level in 2014.  But, injuries to the starting rotation afforded him an opportunity and he’s made the most of it.  At this point, though, he may have hit the wall.

The Padres have done a good job of limiting Hahn’s total pitches per game this season. He’s made only one start where he cleared 100 (101, July 6 against San Francisco).  For the vast majority of his starts, at least at the Major League level were we have data,  he’s thrown between 87 and 95 pitches.  But he’s starting to show signs of fatigue anyway.  Consider:

  • First 9 starts:  53 1/3 innings, 12 ER, 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio (54 K to 21 BB), 2 HR allowed, 2 HBP.
  • Last 3 starts:  16 1/3 innings, 11 ER, 1:1 strikeout to walk ratio (11 K to 8 BB), 2 HR allowed, 2 HBP.

It certainly looks like he’s starting to have trouble repeating his release point, causing a slight loss of control on his pitches.  He’s not as pinpoint as he was earlier in the year.

Another more obvious reason he’s tiring is all the innings he’s thrown this season.  Hahn has a well-documented history of arm trouble, which has limited his innings as a professional.  Looking at his total (major and minor league) stat line we find he threw 52 innings in 2012 and 69 innings last year.  This year, between AA and the Majors he’s thrown 110 1/3.  That’s a 37% jump in innings; by comparison, his workload increased 25% from 2012 to 2013.  It’s natural for him to be tired at this point; he’s thrown more innings this season than he probably had for 3 years, at least.

Losing 3 of 4 to St Louis (a most frustrating series, since the Padres could have won all 4 games) killed off any lingering hopes of a wild card berth this year.  With nothing to play for there’s no reason to keep running Hahn out there once we get to September.  He’s scheduled to get 2 more starts this month (8/22 at Arizona, 8/27 vs Milwaukee).  I’m guessing San Diego will shut him down for the year after that Milwaukee start.

Any relation to similar posts on the same subject is purely coincidential.

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  • Billy Lybarger

    Verducci effect!
    But seriously, the Padres have uncovered a valuable player. They really need to care for this asset and the sooner they let him rest the better. Bud Black ascripes to the “pitchers pitch” methodology of arm care, or at least has stated so regarding both Hahn and Tyson Ross. I’m hoping this last series has at least given the team a pause to consider protecting their young arms for the long term.