The Brandon Beachy experiment didn’t work very well for the Dodgers last year, but this year will definitely maybe be different.
Last season, the Dodgers used 16 different starting pitchers. That was the most in baseball, but no team used fewer than eight starters. Everyone wants a stacked rotation, but throughout a long regular season, depth is just as important as star power.
The Dodgers, with injury question marks in three of their six starting pitchers, especially need solid pitching depth. Signing bounceback candidates to low cost contracts should be something this FO does a lot of. Last year they threw out a lot of these offers, and Mike Bolsinger was the only one that really stuck.
Beachy had an underwhelming Dodger career last year. In two starts, he threw eight innings, allowed 10 hits, seven runs, six walks and five strikeouts. From my expert scouting position in top deck, his first start didn’t seem to be entirely his fault. He gave up a lot of hard contact, but it looked to me like there were a couple plays not made in left by Andre Ethier that most left fielders would make, leading to his three earned runs in four innings. Either way, his second start also didn’t go very well and he was cut.
This is a depth signing, and if Beachy starts more than five games for the Dodgers, something either went amazingly right (Beachy returning to pre-2013 form) or horrifyingly wrong (everyone gets hurt). Beachy was a legit number two or three starter with Atlanta before his second Tommy John surgery in 2014. It’s important to remember that his first start last July was his first start in nearly two calendar years.
This is the type of signing that shouldn’t excite anyone, but is still very important. Beachy is a body and can help the Dodgers in a pinch. It would be better to “punt” a couple games and see if Beachy has anything left in the tank than to start the clock on Julio Urias or Jose De Leon for one or two starts, just to send them back down.
The Dodgers made the Beachy deal official, which has yet to happen with Kenta Maeda. The Maeda deal is expected to be made official this week, and the low guaranteed money may be the result of elbow concerns. We kind of knew this already, as Chris Meola, who first reported the deal, initially tweeted that it would be heavily incentive-laden and he assumed it was due to medicals.