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How Blake Treinen Reinvented Himself

Earlier this month, Blake Treinen returned to the Dodgers on a two-year, $17.5 million deal. Treinen was non-tendered by the Athletics after a down season in 2019 before signing a one-year, $10 million deal with Los Angeles that led to a decent bounceback in 2020.

While the Dodgers were also reportedly interested in adding Liam Hendriks, now a White Sox, the fact that they eventually signed Treinen to a multi-year deal suggests that they were looking closely at his performance in 2020. However, from looking at various data and video, Treinen in 2020 appears to be a particularly different pitcher than Treinen in 2018.

I’d like to take a closer look at how Treinen has changed since his time with the A’s. The first thing to note about his performance after joining the Dodgers is that his groundball rate was 65.3%, up more than 20 points from 45.0% the year before. This is more than 10% higher than in 2018, when he had the best performance of his career. Meanwhile, his strikeout rate was 20.6%, the lowest since his debut in 2015 and well under his career high of 31.7% in 2018. These numbers lead me to believe that Treinen’s change in pitching style is intentional. Read the rest of this entry »