Anthony Swarzak
Anthony Swarzak
33-Year-Old PitcherRP
Seattle Mariners
Injury Shoulder
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Swarzak struggled in his first season with the Mets after signing a two-year, $14 million contract in December of 2017. The veteran right-hander appeared in just 29 games in 2018 thanks to oblique and shoulder injuries, struggling to a 6.15 ERA and 1.60 WHIP across 26.1 innings when healthy. While Swarzak struck out more than a quarter of the batters he faced (26.7%) for a third consecutive season, that came with a HR/9 over 2.0 and a career-worst 4.8 BB/9. The 33-year-old converted four of his five save chances throughout the season, though a shoulder injury prevented him from sticking in the ninth inning following Jeurys Familia's departure. Traded to the Mariners in the Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz deal, Swarzak appears in line for saves in 2019, though it seems likely that the M's will eventually dump him too as part of their teardown. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a minor-league contract with the White Sox in January of 2017 that includes an invitation to spring training. Traded to the Brewers in July of 2017.
Carrying shoulder issue into spring
PSeattle Mariners
February 11, 2019
Swarzak will enter spring training with mild shoulder discomfort and will be behind other pitchers in his throwing program, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
Injuries limited Swarzak to just 26.1 innings and a 6.15 ERA last season, though he finished the year healthy, pitching seven times in September. He could be in the conversation for saves if he has a bounceback season, but the chances of that are certainly reduced if he's already not healthy.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .226 202 51 21 40 4 3 9
Since 2016vs Right .236 341 102 22 74 10 1 13
2018vs Left .268 47 10 4 11 1 1 5
2018vs Right .288 69 21 10 17 0 0 1
2017vs Left .198 110 26 12 19 1 2 1
2017vs Right .218 193 65 10 39 6 1 5
2016vs Left .250 45 15 5 10 2 0 3
2016vs Right .240 79 16 2 18 4 0 7
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 3.93 1.17 73.1 4 5 2 11.0 2.7 1.7
Since 2016Away 3.67 1.16 61.1 3 3 4 9.2 3.1 1.2
2018Home 5.51 1.71 16.1 0 2 2 8.8 5.0 2.8
2018Away 7.20 1.40 10.0 0 0 2 13.5 4.5 0.9
2017Home 2.58 0.99 38.1 3 2 0 12.7 2.6 0.9
2017Away 2.08 1.08 39.0 3 2 2 8.5 2.5 0.5
2016Home 5.30 1.07 18.2 1 1 0 9.6 1.0 2.4
2016Away 5.84 1.22 12.1 0 1 0 8.0 3.6 3.6
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Stat Review
How does Anthony Swarzak compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
93.9 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Last season was a career year for Swarzak, who set career bests in nearly every pitching category. His stellar campaign began with the White Sox, and concluded with the Brewers following a midseason trade. He assumed the role of setup man in Milwaukee the rest of the way, providing a reliable relief option in front of closer Corey Knebel that the team previously lacked. A fastball that sat close to 95 MPH -- the best mark of his career -- made his hard slider even more deceptive, and the results were a stellar 91 strikeouts and a WHIP far better than he had ever posted before. Swarzak's season earned him a multi-year deal with the Mets in free agency during the winter, but his path to saves currently includes two obstacles with Jeurys Familia and A.J. Ramos in tow.
After spending parts of six seasons in the AL Central, Swarzak took his talents to the Bronx and signed with the Yankees shortly before the start of spring training. He split time in the minors as both a starter and reliever, and while he wasn't dominant in either role, he was able to play his way onto the big league roster for a large portion of the season. The 31-year-old saw his average fastball velocity spike up to 93.4 mph in his latest major league stint, and he was able to leverage that into a 9.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9, marks that were the best of his career. There was plenty of bad, however, as he also allowed 10 home runs in just 31 innings en route to a 5.52 ERA and 6.11 FIP. He'll compete for a low-leverage bullpen role with the White Sox during spring training, although this situation offers very little fantasy upside even if he does make the 25-man roster.
Swarzak took a massive step back in 2014, with his ERA jumping by nearly 170 points, which was in large part due to his regression against right-handed hitters. Opposing right-handers hit .293/.333/.435 against Swarzak, up from .233/.270/.270 in 2013. He also saw a sharp drop in his strikeout rate, as his K/9 average plummeted to 4.9 from 6.5 K/9 in 2013. Still, Swarzak possesses a rubber arm that can work in a swing role and still had decent velocity with an average 92 mph fastball. He could find a swingman role again in 2015 after signing a minor league deal with the Indians in January.
Swarzak had a productive season in long relief for the Twins in 2013, posting a 2.91 ERA over 96 innings out of the bullpen; and while he doesn't typically strike batters out, his 6.5 K/9 mark was the best of his career. The Twins have said they like Swarzak in the long relief role and he has not been a candidate for the starting rotation recently, but that thinking could change during the spring depending on the number of open spots the team has available heading into Opening Day.
Swarzak reprised his role as a swingman in Minnesota's bullpen making five starts and posting a better numbers as a reliever (4.05 ERA), but there was not too much to get excited about. He has underwhelming strikeout rates (5.8 K/9) and neither his control nor groundball rates are impressive enough to overcome his lack of missed bats. He is also struggled to keep the ball in the park in his career, giving up 15 homers last season. He may enter the spring with a long-relief job again, but it is hard to see where he finds a prominent role.
After a disappointing 2010 season in Triple-A, Swarzak had a surprisingly productive season as a spot starter and longer reliever and enters 2012 with an outside shot at winning a spot in the rotation. Swarzak started the season slow at Triple-A with a 4.87 ERA and then was hit hard in a spot start for the Twins in April. He got another shot amid several injuries and had strong outings in his next four starts (2.08 ERA) which led to him making the rotation in late August, where he struggled with a 5.85 ERA. In between, he worked in long relief and had a decent overall 4.32 ERA. However, he had a poor strikeout rate (4.85 K/9IP) and his strikeout rates were never impressive in the minors. He also was helped by a below average BAPIP (.292) and low HR/FB rate (6.2 percent). He may win a swingman role again, but he's unlikely to duplicate even last year's moderate success.
A few years ago Swarzak was seen as a top prospect for the Twins with a plus fastball and curveball in the low minors, but his career appears to have regressed. He struggled in his first trip to the majors in 2009 and began last season at Triple-A where he again averaged less than six strikeouts per nine innings while still having problems with the long ball. He missed six weeks after breaking a toe in mid April, so injuries may have been a factor. However, he'll need a strong season at Triple-A before he's considered a possible impact player in the majors again.
Swarzak got his first taste of the majors last season when injuries created a spot in the Minnesota rotation and he started strong by going 4-4 with a 3.74 ERA in his first eight starts. He then faded quickly and went 0-4 with a 14.85 ERA in August and was moved to the bullpen. In the lower minors, Swarzak was praised for having outstanding stuff with a plus fastball and curveball, but his strikeout rates have continued to decline as he's moved to higher levels. He averaged less than six strikeouts per nine innings in both Triple-A and the majors last season, which limits his ceiling. He also gave up too many home runs in the majors, but that wasn't a problem in the minors. He could begin the season in the Triple-A rotation or at the back end of the Minnesota bullpen and is one of the top two or three options should an opening arise in the Minnesota rotation.
Swarzak may have the best stuff of any Minnesota pitching prospect with a plus fastball and curve ball, but his stock fell slightly after a up-and-down season. He struggled at Double-A last season where his control slipped, but still got a promotion to Triple-A and thrived by going 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA. However, his numbers at Triple-A may look a little rosy with just a 26:14 K:BB ratio in 45 innings. He could fight for a spot in the Minnesota bullpen as early as next spring, but most likely begins the year in Triple-A. At just 23, he still has a lot of upside, but his declining ratios cooled his white-hot prospect status.
Swarzak is perhaps Minnesota's top pitching prospect with a mid-90s fastball that has produced strong strikeout rates. He improved his control last season and at age 21 was a little young for his competition. However, he served a 50-game suspension for a second violation of baseball's drug policy for a "drug of abuse" (not a performance enhancing drug, but cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines or other narcotics). If he can avoid problems off the field, a strong start at Double-A could see him in the majors late in 2008. He's one to grab in keeper leagues.
Swarzak, a second-round pick in 2004 out of high school, could rise to the top of Minnesota's list of pitching prospects after his solid year at high-A. He needs to refine his mechanics a bit more and sharpen his control, but improved as the season went on and posted a 7-2 record and 1.66 ERA in his last 10 starts. A strong season at Double-A could make him a factor in the big leagues in 2008.
Swarzak, a second-round pick in 2004 out of high school in Florida, has only above average stuff, but very good command. He posted a 55/11 K/BB ratio at High-A and then continued to impress with a 101/32 K/BB ratio at Double-A. A strong full year at Double-A could make him a factor at the big league level as soon as 2007.
More Fantasy News
Set for slow spring
PSeattle Mariners
January 24, 2019
Swarzak will take things slow in spring training, though he's still expected to be ready for the start of the season, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
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Will remain in Seattle
PNew York Mets
December 3, 2018
Contrary to previous reports, Swarzak will remain with the Mariners instead of being flipped to the Phillies as part of the Jean Segura trade, Jayson Stark of The Athletic reports.
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Heading to Philadelphia via Seattle
PPhiladelphia Phillies
December 3, 2018
Swarzak is part of a pair of trades expected to be finalized shortly, sending him to Philadelphia by way of Seattle, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
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Records five-out save versus Nationals
PNew York Mets
September 23, 2018
Swarzak worked around a walk with a pair of strikeouts across 1.2 scoreless innings Sunday to earn his fourth save of the season against the Nationals.
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Returns from shoulder injury
PNew York Mets
September 8, 2018
Swarzak (shoulder) was activated from the 10-day disabled list Saturday, Matt Ehalt of The Bergen Record reports.
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