Dodgers: Analyzing the Panic Meter for Disappointing Players

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PHOENIX, AZ – AUGUST 09: Tony Cingrani /

Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson

When the July 31st trade deadline approached the front office identified two needs. One was a right-handed starter, and the other was a left-handed reliever. After several attempts to try and pry away left-handed closer Zach Britton from the Baltimore Orioles, the front office landed on Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani.

Before joining the Dodgers, both pitchers had their struggles throughout the season. Neither was considered to be the lefty specialist the Dodgers were looking for, but the front office brought them in in hopes of finding some hidden talent at a much-reduced cost. Both players are talented.

Both players are talented. Cigrani is a former starter that has good strikeout upside but struggles with his control far too often to pitch deep into games. Watson was a former closer for the Pirates and had success last season; this season is very much a down year for him compared to his past years.

Why are they on the panic meter? The mere fact that they haven’t dominated left-handed hitters like the Dodgers would like them to be. Watson and Cingrani have pitched a combined 25 innings since joining the Dodgers and have a collective 3.60 ERA. Cingrani has a high strikeout rate in August allowed five inherited runners score when brought in with runners on base. Watson also allowed five inherited runners to score during August and had a relatively high walk rate at 2.79 BB/9.

Each player is allowing left-handers to hit better than .230 against them, so they aren’t by any means a situational lefty. That certainly isn’t bad but means there’s room for improvement.  Cingrani has the slightly better numbers and has high upside with his strikeout potential, but Watson has experience closing games. The Dodgers are low on left-handed relievers options with Luis Avilan and Edward Paredes being the only other two lefties in the bullpen. Roberts is going to need to carry two on their postseason roster, and at least for now I don’t think anyone of these guys has separated himself from the others, which could be an issue in the postseason.

Panic Meter: 6/10 – “We need to fix this soon…”