Last season, the Los Angeles Dodgers struggled to keep the backend of their staring rotation healthy between Josh Beckett, Dan Haren, Paul Maholm. Other than revamping the bullpen, the organization needed to round out the back of their rotation this offseason, and the acquisition of Brandon McCarthy figured to be one of the answers.
Singed to a four-year, $48 million contract, McCarthy slots in as the Dodgers’ fourth starter. As Spring Training began, some of his expectations were initially met with slightly disappointing outings. In his first three games, he threw nine innings, allowed 13 hits and eight earned runs.
In Sunday’s game against the Texas Rangers, McCarthy showed the Dodgers organization the pitcher they’ve been expecting to see. The 31 year old worked his pitch count up to 91 pitches over 5.2 innings and allowed three earned runs while striking out four batters in a 10-5 win over the Rangers.
While the results were positive, McCarthy also felt the uncomfortable conditions of his start prepared him well for the quickly approaching regular season, via Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles:
It was kind of good that the game was moving incredibly slowly and it was hot and I had to keep waiting and keep waiting and keep waiting,” McCarthy said. “It felt like a long six innings to get through, but it was good that I got to find out where I was conditioning-wise and endurance-wise.”
With Hyun-Jin Ryu expected to miss the beginning of the season, McCarthy’s importance to the rotation has increased as he’s been elevated to the No. 3 starter. McCarthy is coming off a season in which he turned his luck around after being traded to the New York Yankees.
Although he hasn’t had the same success in Spring Training, it doesn’t spell doom for the regular season as McCarthy has taken steps to find a better rhythm, including starting in a Minor League game.
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