The Dodgers should be getting a big boost to the bullpen at around the all-star break, providing that all goes according to plan. That’s the timeframe when right hander Chris Withrow is expected to return from Tommy John surgery.
We know that there are no guarantees when recovering from the operation, but if anyone can do it successfully it’s Withrow. The Dodgers drafted the Austin, Texas native in the first round (20th overall pick) of the 2007 amateur draft.
Withrow made his MLB debut for the Dodgers in 2013, and immediately made an impact. Used as a reliever at the big league level, Withrow pitched in 26 games for the Dodgers that year in middle relief. He posted a 3-0 record, 2.60 ERA, and 3.57 FIP in 34.2 frames.
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The flamethrower struck out 43 against just 13 walks, and posted an 11.2 whiff per nine rate. He limited base runners to the tune of a minuscule 5.2 hits per nine rate in 2013. Particularly known for his blazing four-seam fastball, the big guy frequently touched the upper 90’s on the radar gun.
Withrow contributed during the Dodger’s 2013 postseason run as well. He posted a 2.08 ERA in three games, and allowed just two hits in 4.1 innings pitched in that fall’s NLCS.
Withrow made the Dodger bullpen again in 2014, and got off to a hot start out of the gate. Chris pitched in 20 games for the Dodgers in 2014, and struck out 28 in 21.1 innings while posting a 2.95 ERA. Although his control was a bit off as he walked 18 batters, which posted a 7.6 walks per nine rate.
Overall the 25-year old has a career 11.4 strikeout per nine rate, and a 2.73 ERA. Unfortunately on May 30th, Chris was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right elbow. He eventually succumbed to the dreaded Tommy John surgery. He also reportedly had to have back surgery in December as well.
I caught up with Chris back in late 2013 in the Dodger clubhouse for short interview. You can check it out here.
Hopefully the powerful mustached right hander will make a triumphant comeback later this season. He could provide some valuable middle relief or setup innings to a Dodger bullpen that will probably need it.