The Shockingly Sudden Fall of George Sherrill


Slightly less than a year ago, George Sherrill was so highly thought of that the Dodgers surrendered two minor leaguers, including highly regarded Josh Bell, to the Orioles for his services. He came to LA and was excellent, posting a 0.65 ERA to close out the season.

Yet today, he’s not even worthy of a roster spot in a bullpen which already has seen Ronald Belisario and Ramon Troncoso disappear:

The Dodgers put George Sherrill on outright waivers, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (via Twitter). Price suggests Sherrill, who makes $4.5MM this season, will clear waivers. That would enable the Dodgers to option the reliever to the minor leagues. The 33-year-old lefty has a 7.32 ERA and nearly as many walks (16 BB) as innings (19.2 IP) so far in 2010.

Outright waivers are not revocable, so the Dodgers won’t be able to pull Sherrill back if a rival team claims him. A claim seems unlikely, given his salary and performance so far in 2010. If Sherrill clears waivers, the Dodgers will have an open 40-man roster spot.

It’s amazing, really. This is going to lead to a whole new wave of “Ned Colletti stupidly gave up prospects for a failed veteran” remarks, but even the most negative prognosticator couldn’t have foreseen just what would happen to Sherrill. His numbers are almost so bad that you can’t believe them: 2.237 WHIP, 12.8 hits per 9, and free passes to 7.3 per 9.

Yet it was even worse than that. Even the official baseball-reference blog posted a chart which showed his ERA+ to be the second worst in all of baseball among pitchers with at least 30 games, behind only Chad Qualls.When I dissected him a few weeks ago, I noted that he had gone six weeks without a strikeout. Think about that for a second.

A quicker fall from grace I simply cannot remember, and it’s shocking.

So what’s next? It’s unlikely that he’ll be claimed off of waivers with that kind of performance, so assuming he clears the Dodgers will likely try to option him to AAA, since they’re on the hook for his salary anyway. A veteran of his tenure cannot be sent down without his permission, so he’d have the choice of becoming a free agent instead, but he’d have to forfeit his salary to do so. (I think. Double-checking that.)(Yep, Ken Gurnick confirms it.)

As for the Dodgers, they do need a fifth starter on Monday against San Francisco, meaning John Ely is ineligible since it’s inside his ten-day window, unless someone gets hurt. (Speaking of which, we couldn’t have found a way to say Sherrill was hurt?) James McDonald is the likely choice for that role, but there’s also no need to recall him until just before that game. Personally, I’d love to see fireballing ex-catcher Kenley Jansen get a shot; he’s striking out an insane 16.1/9 for AA Chattanooga, while sporting a 1.88 ERA.

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If you haven’t yet, please be sure to read Molly Knight’s profile of the McCourt divorce mess for ESPN the Magazine. It’s illuminating, but it’s not going to make you feel any better about the situation.

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  1. [...] Sherrill. All-Star to waivers in the space of a year. Just unreal. Like Haeger, I bet we haven’t seen the last of him, because no one’s claiming that [...]

  2. [...] gave up runs in two of his next three outings, and the other shoe dropped over the All-Star Break, as he was put on waivers. That fooled a lot of people into thinking that he was off the roster immediately – since he [...]