When the Dodgers gave Brandon McCarthy a four year contract worth $48 million, you can be sure they expected more than 63 innings of work across the first two years. But that’s exactly what he gave them. A flurry of injuries, starting with a season ending Tommy John surgery in 2015, limited McCarthy to just 13 starts over his first two seasons with the Dodgers.
Control issues and almost a look of fear on the mound made him ineffective even when he was healthy enough to pitch, with a combined era of 5.29 in 2015 and 2016. McCarthy walked 30 batters in those 63 innings of work, averaging a mere 4.5 innings pitched per start.
Despite all of that, McCarthy is ready to contribute this year. And thus far, he has managed to turn it all around. He’s going deeper into games, averaging closer to six innings per start, with much better control. He has allowed only 17 walks, and has matched his innings pitched from the previous two seasons at 63. His 3.14 earned run average is the lowest of his career thus far, and he has shown no signs of a dramatic slow down. He looks good, there’s no denying that. McCarthy might not be an elite starter, but he makes for a terrific back-end rotation starter, especially for a team with under performing pitching. So it seems like McCarthy has settled into his role as a back end starter and this seems like a good role for him.
Conclusion: Legit… Barring injuries