Grading Dodgers’ Free Agent Signings: Pitching Staff
Andrew Heaney: C-
We just … refuse to be bearish on adding Andrew Heaney to the rotation mix. We understand. He throws a high-spin fastball. He’s been “waiting to be unlocked” for a full generation now, and maybe an entire offseason in the Dodgers’ system (remember how early he was signed?) will make all the difference.
We’re sick of being told that, though. For now, he’s just another twinkle in the night sky to dream on, and his Dodgers debut looked a lot more like what we’ve seen for eons and eons from the finesse left-hander. The only “spin rate” we’ve been impressed by so far has been the rate at which the media has spun his struggles as successes that are just around the corner.
C- over D on the oft chance that we’re finally wrong on this one, at which point we’ll be bragging that we were never too down on him. He’ll only be piggybacking, after all, and will likely be tossing three-or-four-inning stints to start.
Daniel Hudson: B+
Dependable and the risk is extremely minimal here for a Dodgers team looking to fill out their ‘pen with semi-lottery tickets.
Lacking familiarity, the Dodgers brought back a 35-year-old Daniel Hudson in an attempt to shore up their back end. After doing solid work in LA in 2018, he moved onto Washington, where he closed out the 2019 World Series with a flourish and a glove flip. Bizarrely, he’s coming off a career year where he struck out 75 men in just 51.2 innings … though he tanked in San Diego in the second half. Perhaps he was an embedded Dodger all along? We approve.
Tyler Anderson: B-
Another part of the bullpen/rotation piggyback parade, Anderson was less than stellar in a 2021 season split between Pittsburgh and Seattle. The soft-tosser is the textbook definition of “what you see is what you get”; there isn’t the slobber-worthy upside of Heaney (supposedly), but 1.6 WAR and ~150 innings can be a valuable commodity at any ERA. Expect Anderson to throw fewer than that in LA, though, unless something goes wrong.