2016 Dodgers in Review: RP Chris Hatcher

Photo: Stacie Wheeler
MLB 40.2 23.8 11.6 1.77 5.53 5.21 4.46 -0.5

What happened in 2016: Chris Hatcher lost the set-up job out of the bullpen by April due to a combination of poor performance and injury. His season ended after suffering an abdominal strain in July.

The right-handed reliever only appeared in 37 games for the Dodgers in 2016, going 5-4 with an abysmal 5.53 ERA and 5.21 FIP. He once again did not perform to the level that was expected of him since being traded to the Dodgers in 2014, even though he did have a promising end to 2015 thanks to a new cutter and better pitch selection.

Although Hatcher’s peripheral numbers which indicate his abilities as a viable late-inning reliever can be used to argue that he hasn’t pitched to his potential, the disappointing season marred by injury did not help his case as a reliable eighth-inning guy behind Kenley Jansen. Dustin tried to pinpoint exactly why he was so bad early in the season, and he basically predicted his injury as well.

“Whatever his struggles may be, he needs to get them ironed out. And he’s going to have to do it in the majors, unless he comes up with some “injury” to land him on the disabled list, as he is out of options.”

A grade three oblique strain forced Hatcher to the disabled list on July 20, and he would not return to the mound for the Dodgers thereafter. A real injury that prompted one of the best Twitter exchanges of 2016.

Chad pointed out that there still is potential there.

“Of course, the upside is still there. Hatcher was throwing as hard as ever (95.7 MPH), still had his three-pitch mix (fastball, slider, change), and he had a 3.51 ERA and 2.90 FIP in 2014 and 2015.”

One of the highlights of Hatcher’s season came at the plate rather than on the mound when he picked up his first career MLB hit and RBI with a single to center field against the Milwaukee Brewers on June 18. He also pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings and collected the win.

2017 status: The Dodgers avoided arbitration with Hatcher and signed him to a non-guaranteed $1.25 million one-year contract for 2017.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.