Dodgers Believe There Is ‘Real Upside’ With Andrew Heaney
Andrew Heaney
Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ first big transaction this offseason was to sign starting pitcher Andrew Heaney, which came as a bit of a surprising move.

L.A. originally acquired Heaney from the Miami Marlins in the trade of Dee Gordon back in December 2014, but they then almost immediately flipped him to the L.A. Angels for Howie Kendrick.

Heaney spent the next six and a half seasons playing for the Angels before the New York Yankees acquired him this past season.

The 30-year-old southpaw has yet to reach his potential as a former top prospect and he is coming off one of his worst seasons where he posted an ERA just shy of six in 129.2 innings, but Dodgers president of baseball operations believes they will be able to unlock some potential, via Juan Toribio of

“We think there’s real upside with Andrew,” said Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. “We wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t think there was some real upside that we can tap into, and we’ll see as we get into the season.”

Heaney owns a 4.72 ERA and 4.45 FIP across 634.1 Major League innings, but he has always limited walks well, putting on slightly more than 2.5 hitters per nine innings.

Along with limiting walks, Heaney has posted good strikeout numbers in his career. He is coming off a season in which he struck out nearly 27% of hitters and he posted a career-high of 28.9% in 2019.

His fastball spin rate is in the 90th percentile of all pitchers and he also gets hitters to chase his pitches at an elite rate, which both help contribute to his strikeout totals.

Heaney primarily throws his fastball, using it around 60% of the time, and adds in a curveball (22%) and changeup (18%). The Dodgers might ask him to use his fastball less as hitters posted a .271 average and slugged .537 off it.

If the Dodgers ask Heaney to throw a fastball less frequently, he could end up pitching in a style more similar to Julio Urias. He uses the fastball less than 50% of the time and his curveball more than a third of the time.

A slider would also complement his arsenal well, and that is something the Dodgers have had success teaching their pitchers.

More than 10 teams had interest in Heaney

The Dodgers were not the only team who saw upside in Heaney, with many teams interested in signing the left-hander.

L.A. was one of more than 10 teams with interest in Heaney.

Many evaluators view him as a similar reclamation project to Robbie Ray, who the Toronto Blue Jays signed last offseason and is now a finalist for the American League Cy Young Award.

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