What happened in 2016: Spent most of the season on the disabled list with various ailments, experiencing mixed results when active.
Brandon McCarthy made four starts in 2015, then missed the remainder of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. In June 2016, McCarthy made four rehab starts ahead of his return to the majors on July 3.
McCarthy’s first month back went well. In five July starts, he allowed just seven runs across 26.1 IP, striking out a whopping 33 batters (good for a K rate of 33%) versus nine walks. Then, everything kind of fell apart. Suddenly, McCarthy was struggling mightily with his command: he walked five batters in three consecutive August starts. Just two days after Dustin attempted to determine what was wrong, McCarthy went back on the DL, this time with right hip stiffness. McCarthy was reactivated in September. A strong start, in which he struck out six batters and allowed two runs in 5.1 IP, was followed by a disastrous relief appearance, in which he faced six batters and retired none of them.
McCarthy made a total of nine starts in 2016. While he showed flashes of excellence, it was not enough for him to make the postseason roster.
2017 status: Entering the third year of his four-year contract, McCarthy is set to make $11.5 million in 2017. Should he remain healthy, he’s a definite candidate for the starting rotation — but that’s a fairly big “should.”