What happened to Huston Street? Is he broken? Back in June of this year, Fangraphs posted an article about Huston Street and stats. Street has some interesting things to say in that article, such as "FIP is the worst stat ever, and WAR is a self-fulfilling prophecy." He also stated how WHIP is a "phenomenal stat", and the higher your WHIP, the more your strikeouts need to go up. It's of note that Street has a 1.93 WHIP this year, which is almost double his career WHIP of 1.07.
Huston Street isn't just a bad closer this year, but a horrible reliever in general. You could argue that he is the worst relief pitcher to even have a roster spot right now, let alone a closing role.
WAR = -0.6 (Career total = 10.4)
Sure, Street doesn't like WAR, but it does tell a part of the picture. Only 2 relievers still on teams have a worse WAR that Street. Josh Osich from the Giants recently took his -1.0 WAR to the DL. Mark Lowe (Tigers) and Cesar Ramos (Rangers) both sit at a -0.7. Lowe is still pitching which Ramos was recently DFA'd.
ERA = 6.45 (Career = 2.97)
Street's ERA in 2016 is so far more than double his career ERA. Only one closer had a worse ERA than Street, and that was Shawn Tolleson (Rangers), who was recently sent down to AAA. Only a few active relievers have a worse ERA than Street.
K/9 = 5.64 (Career avg = 8.81)
Street also has just a 13.3% K rate which is way off his career rate of 24.5%. Less than 10 relief pitchers this year have a worst K rate than Street.
BAA = .333 (Career = .215)
Having a .333 BAA is basically throwing batting average. There is only one relief pitcher this year with a worse BAA and that is Luis Perdomo (Padres) who has a .372. Street is not missing nearly enough bats and it shows.
WHIP = 1.93 (Career = 1.07)
The stat that Street said was "phenomenal" speaks volumes on his troubles. His K rate is done, his walks are up, his hit are up. All a bad combination. Only two pitchers this year have a worse WHIP than Street, and they are Luis Perdomo (mentioned above), and Trevor Rosenthal (Cardinals), who just when on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
If you delve a little further into Street's problems, you'll find that his velocity and pitch movement hasn't really changed much year over year. You'll also find that it's not really one type of pitch that is causing him the most trouble. It's all of them. He's getting behind batters early and throwing a very high amount of first pitch balls. It's also possible that it's part of the aging curve. Street turned 33 years old today, and according to FanGraphs, the average reliever lose more than 2 K/9 by their age 34 season from their peak. Is Street a victim of aging? I'm guessing that can't be the only problem since he has dropped off so dramatically from the rest of his career.
Street's decline appears to have started last year. Around the All-Star break, he had a 2.21 ERA and he ended the season at 3.18. His 2015 first half ERA was 2.27 with a 0.925 WHIP, .181 BAA, and 9.1 K/9. In the second half his ERA jumped to 4.39 with a 1.463 WHIP, .282 BAA, and 7.1 K/9.
Since All-Star Break 2015, Street has a 5.32 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 6.42 K/9, and a .308 BAA. It's no wonder nobody wanted to trade for him.
The answer to "what is wrong with Huston Street" might be more complicated. However, there is little doubt he is currently the worst closer in MLB, and one of the worst relievers in general. How long will Scioscia continue to parade him out in the 9th inning if he keeps up this kind of performance?