What Happened In 2017: Struggled with the Dodgers out of the bullpen and battled injury before being traded to Oakland in mid-August ending his three-year stint with L.A.
Chris Hatcher was disfavored by some fans during his tenure with the Dodgers for his inability to pitch to expectations despite having good peripheral statistics. Injuries in 2016 and 2017, including three trips to the disabled list, ultimately hindered his results. Thoracic inflammation cost him nearly two months in 2017.
Hatcher explained to Paul Durham of the Wilson Times how he dealt with the ups and downs of pitching at the Major League level.
“I think the toughest thing is the mental side of it. Knowing you have a game every night and being able to flush the bad and not get too high with the good.”
There was definitely some bad to flush. Although the right-hander struck out 10.6 batters per nine innings in 36 2/3 innings, he also allowed 9.1 hits per nine, including seven home runs and 19 earned runs in 26 games with the Dodgers. He also walked 21 batters between his time in L.A. and Oakland, tying a career-high in free passes.
Although Hatcher only technically blew one save for the Dodgers in one save opportunity, he was condemned by some fans throughout his time in Dodger Blue for not stepping up and finding success as a late-inning set-up guy behind closer Kenley Jansen. The only Dodger reliever ostracized more in 2017, and booed, was Pedro Baez.
The summer trade of Hatcher, two days after he was reinstated from the disabled list in August, sent $500,000 in international bonus slot money to the Dodgers from Oakland. Unfortunately Hatcher never solidified himself as a consistent late-inning reliever the Dodgers were hoping he’d be when they acquired him from Miami in 2014.
However, the trade that acquired Hatcher from the Marlins still was a success and netted the Dodgers Austin Barnes and Enrique Hernandez. Hatcher’s trade to Oakland allowed him to reboot, and in his hometown no less. He went 1-1 with a 3.52 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 23 innings with the A’s down the stretch and now will likely have a spot in their bullpen come Opening Day.
2018 Status: Avoided arbitration and signed a one-year, $2.15 million deal with the Oakland A’s in January.