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2023 Player Outlook

Contreras' fastball velocity diminished over the course of the season, but it's not all that surprising, considering he didn't pitch in 2020, logged just 61 innings in 2021, and then jumped up to 129.1 IP in 2022. He posted a 3.79 ERA for the club last year, and he showed why he's the ace of this staff for [hopefully] years to come. He had just three starts where he allowed more than three earned runs, and something that I like for Contreras in 2023 is to see his strikeout rate enjoy a nice spike. Why is that? I just don't see him replicating a 38th-percentile strikeout rate when he posted an 82nd-percentile chase rate and a 64th-percentile whiff rate. His slider is an elite putaway pitch, and his slider, four-seamer, and curveball all have above-average movement. He may be Pittsburgh's ace, but he's a more than adequate arm for the back end of your fantasy staff, with mid-rotation upside, especially if he enjoys the strikeout spike that should occur.

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