So, we’ve reached the time of year when the words “on track” are heard almost as soften as “lost weight” and “added muscle”. This time, the subject is Brandon McCarthy and he’s recovering nicely, per the Dodges and the pitcher, himself.

ESPN’s Doug Padilla had the story on how the team is confident in its ability to cope with his recovery with the depth it has at his position.


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Here’s what McCarthy had to say about a possible timeline that is even more optimistic than originally thought.

But McCarthy has not only targeted a return before the break, he wants to make exactly two big league starts by then.

“That means we have been pretty hiccup free, every box has been checked off and we have gotten to where I need to be then I should be feeling good at that point,” McCarthy said Tuesday. “But if it doesn’t get there then we just have to adjust as we go.”

McCarthy has become something of a golden child for those inclined to criticize the front office. In fairness to said criticism, McCarthy was signed to a four-year, $48 million deal after having trudged through several other injuries in the time leading up to the contract.

That said, if the expectation — or hope — is that he comes back around the all star break and bolsters the rotation for the playoff push akin to how a pitcher acquired around that time would, the remaining two full years and $20 million left on his contract suddenly look a little more appealing.

As of right now, can we call McCarthy’s signing successful? Of course not. Anyone speaking to the contrary simply isn’t being truthful. That said, there’s still plenty of time to redeem some value from the signing, so long as he recovers fully.

Dave Roberts seems to think that’s still very possible.

“He’s tracking nicely; he’s where he wants to be,” Roberts said. “Mentally he is in a good place, physically he’s where he wants to be so he’s getting better and hopefully we continue that trend.”

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6 Responses

  1. Tmaxster

    Ok seriously? Look at McCarthy’s career numbers..Can he even crack the top 5? I think Anderson will be really good this year as he said this is the first year he could work on strength and not rehab. He is working to be able to go deeper into the game and have more arm strength. If Anderson reaches close to the potential of his first years he will be very good indeed. Maeda should be very good. Ryu if healthy is better than McCarthy any day.  McCarthy was a BAD signing. Everyone in baseball was scratching their heads and still are.. So lets not pretend that McCarthy coming back is a big deal it isn’t. In fact i would rather we give DeLeon or Stripling a chance. 
    Who cares besides McCarthy or someone in the Front Office Entourage and it is a huge one…

    Reply
  2. AlwaysCompete

    Tmaxster  I agree that
    there is no clear place for McCarthy to fit once he does return.  But I do not believe that this was necessarily a bad signing at the time.  Kershaw, Greinke, and Ryu were slated as the
    #1, #2, #3 pitchers in the rotation.The
    #4 and #5 members did not have to be CY candidates.At $12 million per year, the financial risk
    was low, but if he could duplicate what he did with the Yankees the prior year,
    the reward would be worth the investment.The picture gets murky this year because of the additions of Kazmir and
    Maeda, the return of Ryu, and the development of Urias, De Leon, Cotton, and
    Stripling.With Wood as the current #6,
    there really is no place for McCarthy to fit in, unless there are multiple
    injuries as last year.

    Reply
  3. Tmaxster

    AlwaysCompete Tmaxster I understand your point but they signed him very early in the process and had not been with the Dodger Front Office very long. We all knew that Urias was coming. And the team had Stripling coming off TJ surgery. 
    Yes at 12 million per not a bad price to pay for a 4 or 5 so I give you that point. But they essentially based the signing on one year…
    Anderson they signed for a year with a similar injury type history. 
    But irregardless unless there is a trade I do not see a place for McCarthy he would be about 7th right now… And next year there is a helluva jam which is a good problem to have but you have to think that De-Leon, Stripling, Cotton and Urias will be kicking in the door… Granted we will probably lose Anderson and Kazmir…

    Reply
  4. AlwaysCompete

    Tmaxster AlwaysCompete  By the time he does return, he may not even be #7.  Depending on how De Leon and Urias progress (or Cotton or even Lee), he could drop even further. I have to agree that next year is going to be tough for McCarthy to make the rotation.  Hopefully both Kazmir and Anderson will have such good years that both will be gone next year. 

    I still do not see McCarthy taking one of those spots, meaning that he will become a trade chit for next year.  When he does return, hopefully he proves that he can still pitch with the strong K/9 and K/BB ratio that he showed in 2014 and started last year before the injury.  He has always had good control.  Perhaps he can be moved for a quality infield prospect next winter.  Pitching will be at a premium next winter because of a poor FA class.

    I like to look at decisions with the knowledge of the situation at the time of the transaction.  The Dodgers needed a #4 and #5, and the farm was just not ready to produce, unless they were willing to give Frias and Lee that opportunity.  Thinking that chances are LAD will bring in only one rookie into the rotation on any given year, Friedman signed one pitcher to 4 years and one to one year.  McCarthy was considered more stable/reliable so he got a four year and Anderson a one year.  They planned on the potential departure of Greinke, although I do not believe that they wanted it.  They would have been hugely criticized (and rightly so) had they not at least planned for the departure.  The FO does not believe in long term $100M+ – $200M+ contracts for pitchers, so Scherzer (after 2014), and Price, Zimmerman, and Cueto were never considered possible replacements.  Now the results did not turn out as was hoped for, but the thinking going into the transaction was viable.  In every thing we do in life decisions are made with the best information known at the time, and I do not know anybody whose decisions have all turned out positive.

    Reply
  5. Tmaxster

    AlwaysCompete Tmaxster As fast as they traded for him, it was the beginning of the trade and FA season I thought they gave him too many years with his history. Granted if he can copy that one great year with the Yankees he was a good gamble. But as we have already seen he is out for a year and a half already and has a history of being very breakable…
    All you can judge is by their history and McCarthy has been sporadic at best.
    I thought McCarthy might have been a good pick up for a team not expecting to compete and had limited funds not the Dodgers with their money. 
    I still think their mind set was Rays and Athletics instead of Dodger they were shopping at the Salvation Army store instead of Macy’s or Norstrom’s…
    If you watch their little transactions always picking up cast offs and signing them and dumping them all year these guys were trained to be trash pickers. 
    They would be the guys driving around your neighborhood in an old beat up pick up looking for metal and discards…

    Reply

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