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Dodgers: Caleb Ferguson Getting Back on Track

Maybe he deserves another chance to help the struggling bullpen?

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 04: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Caleb Ferguson (64) throws a pitch during Game 1 of the 2018 National League Division Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers on October 4, 2018 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA.

Coming into the season, Caleb Ferguson was supposed to be a key piece for the Dodgers’ bullpen. However, things didn’t go as planned for the 22-year-old left-hander as he struggled, went to the injured list and ended up back in triple-A.

In 16 2/3 innings this season, Ferguson pitched to a 5.94 ERA, 6.87 FIP, 5.71 xFIP, 8.64 K/9, 5.94 BB/9, 2.16 HR/9, and posted a -0.6 wins above replacement. To put that in English, he was really bad.

Since being sent down, Ferguson has been excellent for Oklahoma City. In 6 innings for them, he has allowed no runs, given up just 2 hits, struck out 11, and walked 2. Adding to the intrigue, he’s doing it in the Pacific Coast League, which is a league known for high offensive numbers.

It’s a small sample size that could ultimately mean little, but since he has already shown he can be a quality major league pitcher, it’s more likely a sign he is putting his early season struggles behind him.

Last season, Ferguson was one of the most effective relievers the Dodgers had. In 38 1/3 innings, he had a 2.35 ERA, 3.29 FIP, 2.55 xFIP, 11.03 K/9, 1.41 BB/9 and 1.41 HR/9. Getting him back to that level would be a huge boost for the bullpen.

He is likely near the top of the list if the Dodgers need a replacement arm, so expect to see him back in the show soon if he doesn’t falter too much in triple-A.

Written by Blake Williams

I graduated with an Associate's Degree in Journalism from Los Angeles Pierce College and now I'm working towards my Bachelor's at Cal State University, Northridge. I'm currently the managing editor for the Roundup News and a writer for Dodgers Nation. Around the age of 12, I fell in love with baseball and in high school, I realized my best path to working in baseball was as a writer, so that's the path I followed. I also like to bring an analytics viewpoint to my work and I'm always willing to help someone understand them since so many people have done the same for me. Thanks for reading!

6 Comments

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  1. We need a left hander that can people out in a tight situation.Alexander is not the answer. Urias should used as a 2 to 3 inning long man which he should have done against Arizona this past Wednesday afternoon and let Kenley finish the 9th inning.Hopes are Ferguson can be that guy,but he has to use his curve ball more often which Sandy Koufax taught him last year.That will set up his 94 plus fastball. Here’s hoping the young man can keep in going in Oaklahoma City and make it back to help us win the elusive World Series or Mr. Friedman will have a lot of work to do at the July 31 trading deadline.

  2. I don’t think we want to trade him. We need to see him a bit more. Our minors have a couple good trade options. Peters, Santana, Stewart. Just to name a few. Alexander on the big club could be included, also. I think the Ferguson we saw the last few months last year would be too much of a risk to let go. This is a good article, we really could use him as the “missing piece” in our bullpen.

    • Uh what? Peter’s, Santana, Stewart are good trade options? Ca
      reer minor leaguers. Who would want them and what would they give up? We could maybe get 3 career minor leaguers.

    • Ed, ya said what I was going to say basically, and that is those are minor leaguers he is pitching well against and I would bet most of those guys may never reach the MLB. The major league hitters are a much different story so let’s not put too much in what he has done at OKC because it has been only 6 innings thus far.

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