When Caleb Ferguson first came up for the Dodgers, there was plenty of reason to love him. The big left-hander came on in 2018 and was phenomenal pitching out of relief. It was even more amazing that it came at a time when the Dodgers needed bullpen help the most.
While last season did not go as well as he would have liked, the goal remains the same.
Obviously, I’ll do whatever is going to keep me in the big leagues, but my ultimate goal is that I want to be a starter. So for me, to develop a third pitch now while I have the time to do it right, it’s big.
Dodgers' Caleb Ferguson develops third pitch with an eye toward becoming a starter https://t.co/23E7aiIazv
— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) March 7, 2020
That third pitch was something that Ferguson recently sat down to discuss with the LA Times. Ferguson threw just two pitches consistently last year, with a fastball and a big looping curve. The new pitch he developed is sort of a slider-cutter hybrid, that differs from his arching curveball. That pitch could prove to be the difference-maker for him making the Dodgers’ big league team.
It’s a slider, but I call it a cutter. I just call it a cutter so I can keep the same intent to remember to throw it as hard as I can, not turn it into another breaking ball.
If he is able to further develop that second offspeed pitch, Ferguson could prove to be a highly effective weapon out of the bullpen. In four spring innings, he has yet to allow a runner to reach. He has struck out three and also not issued a single walk. It’s a small sample size, but it certainly bodes well for his chances.
Dodgers’ Roster Is In His Favor
Already having a great spring, Ferguson has plenty more working for him in his goals of making the Opening Day roster. Most notably, the Dodgers don’t have much in the way of left-handed pitching out of the bullpen. Adam Kolarek was supposed to be the guy to get lefties out, but baseball’s recent rule changes make him obsolete.
Ferguson, on the other hand, has shown that he can get guys out on both sides of the plate. He held left-handed hitters to a .217 batting average in 2018 while keeping righties at a .237 mark. With Julio Urias dedicated to the starting rotation already, Ferguson finds himself in a good spot.