Let’s Remember Some Dodgers: Mike Judd and Mike Fetters

I’m aware these might not exactly be guys anyone suggested, but I wanted to get one of these written, and honestly digging through the Rookies of the Year burned me out a bit (I wrote this right after finishing those because it was when I had the free time). This was originally supposed to be a dumb idea for simple posts and then I started taking it too seriously while looking up stats from the past. Of course.

So here’s a pair of pitchers that actually overlapped on the Dodgers, which wasn’t intentional when I started on each one of them. And because it was so long ago, photos of either have seemed pretty hard to come by, so I gave up and used the one you see above. I promise I will make it more entertaining next time.

Mike Judd

After producing his first season with a wRC+ above 100 and an OPS above .700, Jose Offerman was shipped to Kansas City for Billy Brewer in December 1995.

Offerman had reached the All-Star Game during the 1995 season, but also committed 35 errors to reach 139 in his 531 starts as the Dodgers’ shortstop. Of course, Offerman went on to commit only 44 in 395 starts across three seasons with the Royals while finishing with 8.1 WAR in three seasons. Meanwhile, Brewer had recorded a 3.95 ERA despite a 5.18 FIP in 123 IP across three years for the Royals. He lasted just a little more than six months in the Dodgers’ organization, pitching in 31 games for Triple-A Albuquerque before he was flipped to the Yankees for Judd in June 1996.

The 21-year-old right-hander started eight of his 15 appearances for Single-A Savannah in 1996, moving to High-A Vero Beach and Double-A San Antonio in 1997. With ERAs around 3.50 or lower at each stop, Judd debuted for Los Angeles in the season’s finale on Sept. 28, 1997.

Ranked No. 59 by Baseball America ahead of the 1998 season — above Lance Berkman (64th), Mike Lowell (71) and David Ortiz (84) — Judd opened the year in Triple-A Albuquerque before returning to the Dodgers at the end of July. His season debut came in a scoreless inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the next six appearances all resulted in runs allowed.

Still rated as the Dodgers’ No. 3 prospect entering 1999 with his 15.09 ERA in 11 1/3 innings the year prior, Judd again received a few starts once August hit. Starting the first four games of his seven total appearances, Judd’s ERA still remained high at 5.46 as he conceded four home runs in the four starts.

It got worse in 2000, with Judd again ranked No. 6 in the organization, as he pitched just four innings in his only appearance in the majors and held a 4.51 ERA in Triple-A.

That pretty much ended the experiment as Los Angeles sent Judd to Tampa Bay in March 2001 for what is listed as future considerations. Another two months later, Texas claimed Judd off of waivers and gave him four appearances in the majors.

In what ended up being the final start of his career in the majors, Judd started in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on June 12. Among the six runs Judd allowed in 2 2/3 ingging was one surprising one, as Darren Dreifort is listed with a steal of home in the second inning.

Mike Fetters

Originally drafted by the Dodgers out of Iolani School in 1983, Fetters elected to attend Pepperdine where he eventually became a 1st-round pick by the Angels in 1986.

Chad’s Note: Seems like the perfect time to mention that I actually knew Fetters through my grandpa, who I believe started coaching him in high school. Whenever Fetters returned to Hawaii, he stopped by my grandpa’s house for coaching. He was always cool.

Despite just two seasons with a WAR above 1.0, and a FIP north of 4.00 in all but three seasons, Fetters managed to pitch for 16 years in the majors with 716 2/3 IP. I thought it would be more when I decided to include Fetters, but actually only 79 2/3 of those came with the Dodgers across a season and a half.

Having signed a two-year, $4.25-million deal in December 1999, Fetters’ first year with Los Angeles went about as well as one would hope given the potential for disaster with that contract. Fetters finished with a 3.24 ERA and a 4.97 FIP in 50 innings, with his 84.3 LOB% leading the Dodgers’ top seven most-used relievers.

It went much worse in 2001, resulting in the Dodgers sending Fetters to Pittsburgh in a deal for Terry Mulholland at the deadline. Fetters’ ERA of 6.07 was the worst of his career other than 3 1/3 innings during his debut season, while his FIP of 5.34 didn’t pose much hope for improvement. For a little more than $3.5 million, Fetters ended up with a small negative in WAR for the Dodgers.

So what was the reason to include him here at all? I’ve never forgotten the head turn and face he made on the mound, and I knew it would be a quick few paragraphs that gives me an excuse to post the gif of it.

Even after leaving the Dodgers, Fetters pitched three more seasons into 2004 when he finished up with the Diamondbacks. And now for the past few years, he’s been Arizona’s bullpen coach.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore
Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree. He now works for the university’s athletics department after spending seven years with the local newspaper.