When free agency opened for that short month before the MLB lockout, the Los Angeles Dodgers jumped to the front of the line to sign … Andrew Heaney? For $8.5 million? Coming off by far his worst professional season? Are we typing this correctly?
Turns out, the Dodgers’ knee-jerk decision seemed to be right before everything went wrong. Despite Heaney’s disastrous spring training, the left-hander started the 2022 season with 10.1 scoreless innings, a 1.19 FIP, a 0.68 WHIP and 16 strikeouts. The Dodgers won both games.
But then shoulder issues landed Heaney on the injured list. Initially, it wasn’t believed to result in an extended absence, but that couldn’t have been less true. The veteran missed two months of action before returning last weekend.
On June 19, Heaney was once again brilliant against the Cleveland Guardians, allowing one earned run on five hits and a walk (while striking out seven) across five innings of work. It was a potential sign that the rotation would soon be stabilized, especially with Dustin May on the mend.
But then a few days later, Heaney hit the IL again with the same shoulder issue that knocked him out last time around.
So why is anyone to believe his time on the shelf will be any different this time around? At this point, Heaney is looking more like a wasted investment than anything else.
Andrew Heaney’s three starts for the Dodgers just isn’t enough
The Dodgers don’t need Heaney’s wildly surprising production through his first three starts. He wasn’t signed to be a co-ace. He was signed to eat innings with the oft chance the Dodgers would be able to “unlock” his previously (and largely) undiscovered potential.
And though $8.5 million is nothing for a franchise of the Dodgers’ caliber, that was money invested to take pressure off the bullpen and provide relief in the event higher-profile arms suffered injuries. Now, here we are, with Walker Buehler out for an extended period of time, Clayton Kershaw already missing a month, and the bullpen in shambles, Heaney has given the Dodgers 15.1 innings of work.
"“According to manager Dave Roberts, Heaney felt discomfort during his bullpen session on June 23. Heaney then flew back to Los Angeles to get further testing, which showed a strain on his left shoulder. Heaney was shut down from throwing, and as of June 27, he had not yet resumed throwing.”"
Does that sound like it will only be a “couple of starts”? Heaney is on the IL for a minimum of 10 days and he likely won’t be ready to return to action the moment he starts feeling better, especially if he’s shut down from throwing.
Though fans weren’t expecting much from this signing, they got a taste of what the best-case scenario could be, and have had it taken away twice now.