Chris Withrow was a subpar minor league pitcher in his career and going into this season, he was destined to stay that way as he started the season at Triple A Albuquerque.
The Dodgers 2007 first round pick, who moved over to the bullpen from a starting role midway through the 2012 season at Double-A, has always been a hard thrower, but had trouble with his control.
During his minor league career, Withrow was 25-26 with a 4.70 ERA, but was very impressive in his first season at Triple A where he went 4-0 with a 1.71 ERA, allowing just five earned runs in 26.1 innings and striking out 33 batters in 25 games out of the bullpen.
His strong minor league season earned him three different stints with the Dodgers this season and even saw time during high-leverage situations.
Regular Season Grade: B-
Needing pitching depth in the bullpen due to several injuries, Withrow got the call three different times and did an admirable job for the Dodgers out of the bullpen.
In 26 appearances, Withrow went 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA, with one save and 43 strikeouts, allowing just 10 runs in 34.2 innings pitched.
Walks have always been an issue for Withrow and it seemed to find his control this season, limiting his wildness to just 13 walk. His newfound control earned him a September call-up to help the Dodgers down the stretch and into October. His success earned the rookie a spot on both the NLDS and NLCS rosters.
Playoff Grade: D+
Withrow’s strong regular season earned him a spot in the bullpen during the postseason, but was underwhelming in his four appearances allowing three earned runs in four appearances. He was 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA and after keeping his walk rate low during the regular season, he walked six in just five innings.
His worst game came against the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS where he came in the seventh inning with the Dodgers down 2-1. He proceeded to walk the leadoff batter and followed up by allowing a single to B.J. Upton before leaving the game with two outs.
He earned a loss in the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals but pitched much better in three appearances, but still walked five batters in 4.1 innings.
Withrow has struggled throughout his career with his control and this season he finally put things together during the regular season. Used as a middle reliever during his time with the Dodgers, the 24-year-old should be back in the bullpen in 2014.
In case you missed it-Dodgers Decline Mark Ellis And Chris Capuano Options