2012 in brief: Proved us all right by lasting barely a month into the season before getting whacked, then pitched poorly in Triple-A for Cubs & Nationals organizations.
2013 status: Some team will give him a token non-roster invite to camp, because of course they will.
Pretty sure my feelings on Mike MacDougal were made clear the day in early January that he signed, considering I named the post, “Mike MacDougal Close to Returning to Dodgers; Allows Inherited Runner to Score“. As we knew at the time, expecting him to be successful merely because he had a nice 2011 ERA was a gambit all but certain to fail:
Shiny ERA strikes again! This move has been such a fait acompli for such a long time that the only real surprise is that A) it took so long to actually happen and B) that it wasn’t for two guaranteed years. You know the story by now: MacDougal was fine as a non-roster invite, despite barely striking out more than he walked, constantly inflating the ERA of others by allowing their runners to score, and having a FIP of 3.96 that is far more accurate than that fancy 2.05 ERA. For a zero-risk warm body, fine. On any sort of guaranteed major league deal? Well, you’ll notice we haven’t heard a whole lot about other teams beating down his door, right? The fun part will be when he pitches exactly the same as he did in 2011, but his ERA balloons to 4.04, and people will complain about how he’s all of a sudden terrible.
Well, I wasn’t totally right, because he didn’t pitch exactly the same as he did in 2011; he was worse, allowing 15 baserunners in 5.1 innings over seven April games, including two separate stretches of at least a week where Don Mattingly refused to use him. Going back to when he was signed, we had a pretty good guess of where this was going to end up:
I’m kidding, sort of, because one year and $1m is practically nothing these days. It’s just about the lowest amount you can even give a player with MacDougal’s experience, and when he’s inevitably DFA’d by July, it won’t be anything worth complaining about.
So close! He was actually DFA’d on May 3. If anything, I was surprised that he was let go so quickly when Ronald Belisario returned, considering that Josh Lindblom still had options and that while MacDougal was on a guaranteed contract, Jamey Wright was not. So kudos, I suppose, to Ned Colletti for swallowing his mistake; on the other hand, that hardly cancels out having made it in the first place, because again — this was never, ever a good idea.
After getting borked, MacDougal went to Iowa to pitch for the Triple-A affiliate of the Cubs, but he was released there as well after a 7.85 ERA in 19 games, and ended his summer in the Washington organization pitching in Syracuse. In 29 innings between the two Triple-A clubs, he walked 24. Not exactly where he anticipated his season would conclude, I imagine, but pretty much exactly where we would have expected.
Next up in the review series! Out with the old, in with the Paco Rodriguez!