Brock Stewart had a strange and wild 2018 season for the Dodgers. The once highly regarded pitching prospect and trade target has seen his stock fall quite a bit. This article will look at his season and look at where he might stand within the organization moving forward.
Stewart entered the 2018 season as a 26 year old candidate to start or relieve. His appearances in Spring Training earned him a quick option to AAA near the beginning of March, so not a good start to the season. His AAA season started with 3 of his first 4 starts going well to earn a promotion to the Dodgers.
Back and Forth
He was recalled by the Dodgers on April 29 and had a single appearance before being sent back down on May 1. This became a pattern.
- 4/29 – recalled (1 appearance)
- 5/1 – optioned
- 5/6 – recalled (1 appearance)
- 5/7 – optioned
- 5/9 – recalled (1 appearance)
- 5/12 – optioned
- 5/22 – recalled (2 starts)
- 5/29 – optioned
- 6/1 – recalled (3 appearances)
- 6/8 – optioned
- 6/19 – recalled (1 appearance)
- 6/20 – optioned
Within the dates above he also had 2 starts in AAA. His final statistics for the Dodgers consisted of an ERA of 6.11 in 17.2 innings. He gave up 23 hits, walked 9 and struck out 14. Clearly a season to forget.
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AAA For The Rest Of The Season
Once the recall/option jerk around was finished Stewart settled into the rotation in AAA and had a very good season. He ended up starting 19 games in AAA and finished with 96.1 innings with an ERA of 2.99. He also ended up giving up only 83 hits while walking 29 and striking out 80. Stewart was recalled by the Dodgers on 9/2 but was immediately put onto the 60 day injured list to free up a 40 man roster spot for Rocky Gale. This ended his 2018 season.
The Big Concern
When Stewart was in the Major Leagues his velocity on his fastball was down. In 2016 and 2017 he averaged almost 94 MPH but in 2018 he was down to 91 MPH. The almost 3 MPH drop is a huge concern for somebody just 26 years old but I wonder if the inconsistent work and bouncing between starting and relieving for the two crazy months was the contributing factor. His AAA statistics indicate that there is still something there but the AAA velocity numbers are not available.
Going into his year 27 season, Brock Stewart is out of minor league options, meaning he cannot be optioned back to the minors without the risk of losing him to another team. Stewart is best suited for being a starter and probably is, at best, 8thon the depth chart. It seems his only way onto the roster to begin the season is in the bullpen. I believe he can be a useful starter in the Major Leagues and I expect him to be traded before the season starts unless there are a rash of injuries. The way the Dodgers treated him in 2018 was not conducive to building a pitching career. It seems the Dodgers have not given him proper opportunities and he’ll benefit from being moved to another team.
NOTE (February 25, 2019) – According to The Athletic he has one more option.
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