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.
Caleb Ferguson has been flat out nasty since being optioned to OKC.
Tonight he retired all 6 batters faced with 5 strikeouts. In 5 appearances with OKC: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K.#Dodgers
— Alex Freedman (@azfreedman) June 8, 2019
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.