What to expect from Dodgers call-up Emmet Sheehan

Photo: Tim Campbell/MiLB

Some big Dodger prospect news dropped in the wee hours of Friday morning. Via MLB.com’s Juan Toribio, Emmet Sheehan, the organization’s #13 ranked prospect at MLB Pipeline, has received the call.

It was reported here on Dodgers Digest that Sheehan and his teammate Landon Knack received word of their promotions following Tulsa’s victory on Saturday, June 10th. With Oklahoma City’s first-half title sewn up and the big club having only four-ish starting pitchers, the Dodgers saw fit to bypass that plan and bolster their own rotation instead.


Sheehan, whom the Dodgers drafted out of Boston College in the 6th round back in 2021, is listed at 6’5, 220 lbs, and he has the power repertoire to match his prototypical frontline starting pitcher stature. He boasts a fastball that sits 95-98 mph and tops out at 99, and it comes with a 70-grade vertical approach angle, which helps the four-seamer generate an outsized amount of whiffs, as barrels noticeably come in underneath the pitch. The 23-year-old complements his heater with a 60-grade changeup, and a slider that flashes plus. He will also, on occasion, mix in the odd curve. It was more of a go-to weapon during his college years, but it has taken a backseat to his other offerings as a pro.

The ascendant righty is coming off an utterly dominant month of May, during which he tossed 24.2 IP, 0.36 ERA, with 10 walks and 41 strikeouts:

For the season, in 53.1 IP with Tulsa, Sheehan has an ERA of 1.86 with a whopping strikeout rate of 41.7%, a walk rate of 10.9%, and he has held opponents to a batting average of just 2.11.


So apart from his stuff, what can Dodger fans expect out of the New York, New York native? First and foremost, as workloads and the bullpen are at the front of the mind for everyone, Sheehan is fully stretched out. He reached 84 pitches as early as May 11th, and he has topped out at 94. He is not here as someone whom they hope to get through the order one time and call it a day, he’s here as a starter, period.

What to watch for will be the plan of attack. Sheehan’s fastball is his best pitch, bar none, and for my money it’s the best four-seamer in the organization. The angle and carry he gets on the pitches make it a unique weapon within the org, the sort of pitch that can give batters fits as it pulls a Houdini act on the way to plate.

That said, via FanGraphs, the Giants are among the better fastball hitting teams in major league baseball, ranking 5th at +22.1 runs vs them this season. They aren’t nearly as proficient vs sliders (-3.5 runs, 13th) or changeups (-2.2, 22nd), so from a total repertoire standpoint, it is a solid matchup. Just the same, I don’t expect Sheehan to get too cute; he will likely establish the fastball, lean into it, and work off it with the secondaries.

Well, he could get a little cute, I guess, but only if he’s forced to bat again like he did back on May 28th. Cody has already picked out his walkup song:

I will admit to being a bit surprised by Sheehan’s promotion at this stage, albeit pleasantly so. I have mentioned before that the Dodgers typically seem to be an order of operations club; Sheehan wasn’t Rule 5 Draft eligible until December of 2024, whereas Landon Knack is eligible in December of 2023. With the club constantly facing a 40-man crunch, holding off on promoting Sheehan to the big club made logistical sense. It may not, however, have made the most baseball sense. If you are trying to win, and you have one guy ahead of the other within your internal hierarchy, the choice has been made for you. The Dodgers did what they felt they had to.


Friday night.

Dodgers/Giants, in Dodger Stadium.

This is a LFG move.

About Josh Thomas