Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dodgers nab McCarthy to strengthen rotation

Through all of the wheeling and dealing with the Dodgers on Thursday, there was one signing that may have flown a bit under the radar.  But with Dan Haren on his way to Miami (or retirement, perhaps), the back end of the rotation needed to be addressed.

It certainly has been, as the Dodgers have signed right-handed Brandon McCarthy to a four-year, $48 million deal.  He'll slot in nicely right behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu as the team can flip-flop between lefties and righties at the top.

McCarthy has certainly had an interesting career to say the least.  If you recall, he's the guy who got beaned in the head off of a line drive from Erick Aybar of the Angles in 2012.  He was rushed into emergency surgery, and then a year later with the Diamondbacks, suffered a seizure that was probably related to that liner.

So, things were definitely not looking up for his career as he was traded to the Yankees last July.  At the time, it sure looked like another desperate move by the Yanks to find lightning in a bottle.  Sure enough, they did find lightning, as he went 7-5 with a 2.89 ERA, and looked like a completely different pitcher than the one who got creamed in Arizona time after time.

And now here we are, as McCarthy got his four-year deal he was seeking, and the Dodgers have four starters they can trust in the playoffs.  Yes, I know Kershaw got crushed once again by the Cardinals, but he's still the MVP and Cy Young winner.  So zip it.  McCarthy can match up against other team's fourth or fifth starters, which is to his advantage.

Obviously the Dodgers are hoping they find the guy who pitched with the Yankees at the end of last season, along with his excellent numbers for the A's in 2011 and 2012.  In '11, he put together a 3.32 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and career-high 2.9 WAR.  Then he suffered that horrifically scary injury, and it looks like it took him a couple of years to fully get over it.  That's more than understandable.

Now the Dodgers must turn to their shaky bullpen, as thus far only Joel Peralta has been added.  That's a pretty good start, but they must do more from there.  Also, look for another starting pitcher to be added to go behind McCarthy.

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