One of Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s first moves last offseason after joining the franchise was signing right-handed starter Brandon McCarthy to a four-year, $48 million deal.
While many questioned the signing given some of his struggles and injury history, McCarthy had a strong close to the 2014 season with the New York Yankees.
In 14 starts after being traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks, McCarthy went 7-5 with a 2.89 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 1.15 WHIP, and 82 strikeouts to 13 walks over 90.1 innings pitched.
McCarthy was slotted to be the fourth starter, behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu to start the season. However, Ryu began the year on the disabled list, which placed additional pressure on McCarthy as the now-third starter.
Much like Ryu, McCarthy’s season didn’t last long as he came out of his start on April 25, his fourth of the season, with an elbow injury that ended up requiring season-ending Tommy John surgery.
As for the four outings the 32 year old managed to make, they came with mixed results. While McCarthy was 3-0, he had a 5.87 ERA, 6.22 FIP and 1.22 WHIP.
Moreover, he was susceptible to the long ball, giving up nine home runs in 23 innings of work. Where McCarthy did excel in was strikeouts as he had 29 on the abbreviated season, including 10 against the Seattle Mariners on April 13.
His last start of the season came on April 25 at Petco Park against the San Diego Padres. McCarthy allowed six runs on six hits, including three home runs, in five innings prior to being removed due to elbow discomfort.
Los Angeles came away victorious in a wild 11-8 affair, resulting in McCarthy getting credited with a final win of the season.
The best start of McCarthy’s short season came April 19 against the Colorado Rockies. He tossed six shutout innings at Dodger Stadium, giving up three hits and walking two while striking out six. The Dodgers cruised to an easy 7-0 win.
While McCarthy has not suffered any setbacks in his rehab since the surgery, he is still not expected back until midway through the 2016 season.
However, when he does return, he is expected to provide rotation depth that the team sorely lacked in 2015. Including 2016, McCarthy has three years remaining on his contract.