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NL East Notes: Kyle Barraclough Might Make Baseball History

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Plus notes from around the NL East.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Barraclough has been a pleasant surprise for the Miami Marlins bullpen. He must keep it up with the injury to Bryan Morris and the rest of the bullpen being unpredictable. Barraclough has shown powerful stuff as he leads the National League in strikeout rate but it also gets away from him at time as he leads the NL in walk rate.

Barraclough has a strikeout rate of 16.9 and a walk rate of 7.2 which are very high for both category. Most likely one will give and Barraclough will transition into a dominant reliever or just another pitcher that has flashes but no sustained success. As for right now he is pitching nicely for the Marlins and his strikeout and walk rate have evened out which has lead to solid contribution out of the bullpen.

Leading the league in both strikeout and walk rate is very rare and only has been done once. That man was Carlos Marmol in 2010 for the Chicago Cubs. Marmol has three successful years as the Cubs closer before seeing his career crumble because of a very high walk rate.

Barraclough has walked one batter in an inning in which he has also struck out the side five times this season. Barraclough has recorded at least one whiff in all but two of his 28 relief appearances. His strikeout ability gives hope and shows a huge upside but without a reduced walk rate he can take a turn for the worse very quickly.

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald provided other tid bits on Barraclough's numbers

▪ His strikeout rate of 16.92/9 is higher than Carter Capps' was a season ago for the Marlins. Capps whiffed 16.8 batters per nine innings.

▪ According to baseballreference.com, only 11 pitchers since 1901 have averaged at least five walks and 12 strikeouts per nine innings. They include Aroldis Chapman, John Rocker, Armando Benitez, Bryan Harvey and Matt Mantei. Barraclough's walk and strikeout rates are much higher.

▪ Only one other Marlins pitcher — A.J. Ramos in 2014 — averaged as many as six walks and more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings. But his rates (6.05 walks and 10.27 strikeouts) pale in comparison to Barraclough's.

News from around the NL East

Phillies pitching prospect Alec Asher suspended 80 games for positive drug test

Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon on DL, Shawn Kelley to close

Mets inquire about A's third basemen Danny Valencia

Jon Heyman rounds up the latest trade chatter involving the Atlanta Braves