Jul 23, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Nick Hagadone (50) pitches in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Minnesota Twins win 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Can Nick Hagadone finally be a shutdown reliever?
Katrina Putnam: My pick for most improved would be Nick Hagadone. I can’t think of how many times I’ve felt like Hagadone was the least likely to improve, but I’m finally buying into the hype. The lefty has pitched four innings of run-less, hit-less, walk-less baseball, striking out three of the 12 batters that he’s faced. Last season with Cleveland, he struck out nearly 30 percent of batters and walked just 6.6 percent — the highest strikeout rate of his career, but also a walk rate that was nearly half that of any prior season. Combine that with a 3.26 FIP and a 2.70 ERA, and Hagadone seems primed for an even bigger 2015.