2016 Dodgers in Review: RHP Brandon McCarthy

Photo: Dustin Nosler

IP K% BB% HR/9 ERA FIP xFIP WAR
MLB 40.0 25.7 15.2 0.45 4.95 3.70 4.55 0.3

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.”

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler
Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She now writes for The Hardball Times and FanGraphs. She is currently in the Sports Management master's program at Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.