Crazy Like a Fox

This is the Brandon McCarthy the Dodgers front office wanted.  They knew his history but they also knew about changes he had made, both to his pitching mechanics and psyche.  Brandon McCarthy is making about $12 million a year and was signed for four years.  He has this year and 2018 left on his deal.  $12 million a year is a bargain for a pitcher of McCarthy’s standing.

Brandon McCarthy has pitched 63 innings this year and has a 3.14 ERA to go with a 1.10 WHIP.  To say he has been solid is an understatement.  He has been very good and except for a 10-day stint on the DL due to a separated shoulder from a training accident, he has always answered the bell this year.  Kyle Kendricks has fewer innings pitched and an ERA a run higher than Brandon. The same is true of the following pitchers as well:

  • Drew Pomeranz
  • Michael Wacha
  • Corey Kluber
  • Sonny Gray
  • Francisco Liriano

… and a whole lot more

Fans complain that the Dodgers sign injury-prone players as if that is a bad thing.  I am going to suggest that the Front Office would be really dumb to sign any other type.  Mike Leake was not injury-prone and is having a decent year THIS year (3.14 ERA/1.09 WHIP).  This is after the  first year of his new deal when he put up a 4.69 ERA and 1.32 WHIP.  The Cardinals signed Mike Leake for 5 years and $80 million dollars.  He did great the first month – watch him end up where he always has.

Jeff Samardzija has no injury history, so the Giants gave him a 5 year/$90 million dollar deal.  He is making $20 million a year.  He eats innings but has a 4.15 ERA after putting up a 3.81 ERA last year.  Yes, he pitched 200 innings, but the quality was poor.

Zack Greinke has a 3.00 ERA this year after a 4.37 ERA last year for which he is getting $34 million a year for 5 more years!  That is going to end badly.

David Price with no injury history signed an even bigger deal.  His arm is dangling by a thread.  He has pitched 23 innings and has a 5.09 ERA.  In the first year of his $200 million dollar deal, he had a 3.99 ERA.  How do you think that is going to end.

Johnny Cueto has been injury-free for a while, and that earned him a $120 million dollar deal.  His first year was great.  No so great this year in that he has a 4.57 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.  That deal along with the Shark, Cain’s deal and Moore has sunk the ship in SF.

Even when you sign pitchers that are not injury-prone, they are prone to injury.  Two years ago, many fans mocked Andrew Friedman for signing injury-prone players.  It turns out that they often deliver similar results for a lot less money… and you can stack ’em deep!  The Dodgers are currently the envy of many MLB front offices.  They can’t afford the depth the Dodgers have because of big contracts to underperforming pitchers.

It turns out FAZ was the smart one and the ones who called for no injury-prone pitchers were just smarting.  Brandon McCarthy may or may not have a significant injury this year, but you know what?  It doesn’t matter.  The Dodgers have the depth to cover it.  It hurts losing Julio Urias.  He gets an MRI today and we will know more soon (I hope it’s just a little inflammation), but the depth is there.  Trevor Oaks as our Number 5 could be very nice.  Count ’em, there are Masterson, Jurrjens, Castillo, Font and don’t count out Scott Barlow.  He has 65 IP with 36 H/69 K and a 2.09 ERA to top off a 0.94 WHIP.

Another injury prone guy goes today (Rich Hill) as the Dodgers try and sweep the Indians.  Let’s see how that works out.  You can call the front office crazy for signing pitchers who are blind, crippled and crazy, but it turns out that they are crazy like a fox!

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 43 Comments

  1. “Brandon McCarthy may or may not have a significant injury this year, but you know what? It doesn’t matter.”

    I have a bet with Scott Andes that McBrittle, as he’s referred, won’t be back on the DL this year. The loser donates $20 to the winner’s charity of choice.

    So it matters to me.

    Your points are good ones and arguments I’ve made in the past.

    1. Are you talking about THE SCOTT who said Kike was the worst player in MLB? That Scott?

      1. There is one and only Scott.
        He’s a solid dude. …Just a different take on management and baseball philosophy. .

        1. I know Scott – I’m just trying to get his goat. I know he reads here from time-to-time!

  2. Quick quiz question.

    Yesterday was the one year Anniversary of the Dodgers signing a new player.

    Any idea who??

  3. I just hope our young pitching prospects turn into good major league pitchers, so we don’t have to sign to many free agent, pitchers.

    I feel ambivalent about the signing on these last few free agent pitchers, and that is the truth.

    But I love how the team is playing right now!

    1. And McCarthy is pitching well this year, so I have to give him credit, when credit is due.

      Is Grandal calling to many high fastballs, or is Fields just missing his locations on the plate?

      1. When the Dodgers faced the Cubs, Kris Bryant indicated that the relievers were all pounding fastballs up in the zone. Others have said the same thing. This seems to be planned strategy, and Grandal appears to be calling what management thinks is the best way to attack aggressive hitters. It was working fine. Either it is now scouted and expected, or the command is just not high enough in the zone. If it continues, the pitchers are going to need adjust their location, or the strategy is going to need to be adjusted. Regardless, I do not think this is on Grandal.

  4. Someday, they will have to quit rolling out Hill if he can’t get out of his mechanical funk… but we ain’t there yet!

  5. Stripling has something going on. This is getting old.

    Odd pitch selection.

    Started out with a 76 MPH knuckle curve and then a changeup?

    What the what?

  6. Hill should have been removed once the Dodgers got within 1.

    Stripling has homeritis right now. He’s in a funk for sure.

  7. I agree on Hill, June is a little late to be constantly struggling with command. Mental errors like hitting guys, bases loaded walks, and being late covering 1B are a little grating when you get paid $16M to get guys out.

    Stripling and Fields have been giving up too many big flies lately, need to tighten things up.

    1. Both Stripling and Fields had each only allowed one HR in all of April/May. Last few June appearances could be outliers or sheer randomness.

          1. Bluto

            Stripling hasn’t been as bad, that was only the third HR he has given up,.

            But he has just given up those two HRs, lately so his era in June is over four.

            Fields has given up four HRs in June alone, and his era is over seven.

  8. The 39th draft pick was a catcher from Mountain Point HS (AZ)…Logan White Jr., son of long-time scout and former LA Dodger Scouting Director, Logan White. Logan White is considered not only a quality baseball guy, but a great person as well. He had a very good run with the Dodgers, but with the change at the top, change was bound to follow in the scouting department. Logan White Jr., has a scholarship commitment to Coastal Carolina and is expected to honor that commitment.
    Billy Gasparino said the following…”“We were excited to do that,” said Gasparino. “Obviously, Logan White Sr. spent a lot of time here and made his mark here in a very positive way with the players he drafted, and we see it every night. We have a lot of respect for Logan Sr. His son is a very good high school player who is headed to Coastal Carolina, and we’re excited to honor the both of them. It is a great baseball family and it meant a lot to our guys to do that for them.
    “We spend a lot of time on the road and our families always suffer. Any time you can honor someone that’s put a lot of good work into this game, and I think Logan and his son deserve it.”
    There is a great article on Think Blue written by Harold Uhlman, that should be a must read on the White family. I have read the stories before, but I never tire from reading them again and again.
    I do not know if it was White Sr.’s influence but the Padres drafted Cole Bellinger in the 15th round. Ron Cervenka (Think Blue) who has become somewhat close to the Bellingers, believes Cole will sign with the Padres.

        1. Bluto

          I think Betts is better, because I just think he can get to more balls, then Puig.

          And I think the size difference, is why.

          Heyward would probably be a closer comp, except both players arms.

          And I know Heyward has a good arm, but his arm is not quite as strong as Puig’s, and Puig probably has a quicker release, because he throws more like an infielder then an outfielder.

    1. Bluto


      To bad their offense isn’t as close!

      But Puig did have a good year and a half, when he was first on the team.

  9. Hill is as lost on the mound as Pederson is in the batter’s box. Maybe more. No balance. No connection between upper and lower halves. Wind up. Stretch. Makes no difference. I agree on the high pitch. I don’t think Stripling likes to play up there, but he should be able to, if asked. I just don’t think that he is comfortable high in the zone. Grandal should let him pitch to his strengths and not so much the batters’ weaknesses. He has stunk up the last couple of games. I want to see Fabio Castillo in the bigs. They put him on the 40, but buried him in OKC. I haven’t seen him in the lineup since. Time for Hill to have a 10 day blister.

  10. While Hill was on the DL, I read that he was tinkering with new grips to help with the blister situation. If this is the result, then go back to the old grip. This is unacceptable. If it continues then Maeda has his spot back. Roberts should have yanked him when he walked the leadoff hitter instead of letting another big inning happen. Bad job by the entire pitching staff. Barnes’ base running gaffe falls into the knuckehead category as well. Having said that, I’ll happily take 2 out of 3 from the AL champs.

    As for McCarthy, I was one of the few who said that he had value on the trade market with only 2/$22m left on his deal, but 4 years was a horrible signing and I’ll stick with that unless he does something big in the post-season.


  12. Oneil Cruz w/ HR #5 this year. Current trend:
    April .133 BA .189/.169/.358
    May .292 BA .330/.417/.747
    June .370 BA .388/.500/.888

    1. He is a prospect that is very intriguing and worth watching. He’s not prototypical…

  13. I had tix but had to sell them.

    My son’s combination 18th Birthday and Graduation Party and Father’s Day are Sunday. We have a big party planned. Dang, I can’t go!

Comments are closed.