The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Brandon McCarthy to a four-year, $48 million deal in 2014 from the New York Yankees after posting a 2.89 ERA. A surprise signing for the Dodgers not only money wise, but the length of the deal for a pitcher with an injured past.
McCarthy has pitched only 14 games during the last two seasons with the Dodgers, but made his triumphant return to the mound against the San Diego Padres. The 33-year-old was solid against the Padres, pitching six strong innings with four strikeouts.
The right-hander felt great after his first outing of the 2017 MLB season according to Matthew Moreno of Dodger Blue:
“The takeaway was I was able to work quick, kind of keep them on their heels, and let the defense do the work behind me,” McCarthy said of his outing. “I wanted to really attack and be aggressive, and I was able to do that for the most part.”
He retired 12 of the 13 batters he faced through the first four innings, only giving up a two-run blast to Wil Myers. McCarthy was glad to get the first game under his belt and hopes it sets the tone for the rest of the season:
“I’ve got to come with my best stuff and have it as often as I can. There’s little things I can tinker with and keep working on and develop as the season goes on, like anybody else. But in relation to coming back from Tommy John, there’s no real building process. It’s full-go.”
Tommy John is the most disheartening injury for a pitcher and McCarthy is no stranger to arm injuries. Given his injury past, it makes fans nervous to see how often he will remain healthy. McCarthy has earned the fifth spot in the rotation and would come a long way to see him stay healthy throughout the season. His intelligence and control on the mound would be instrumental for the Dodgers to remain one of the favorites.
Los Angeles could withstand some injuries to their pitching staff because of their abundance of young arms like Julio Urias, Brock Stewart, Alex Wood and Ross Stripling. However, they would preferably like to have their veterans around.