2012 Dodgers in Review #43: RP Scott Elbert

2.20 ERA 3.80 FIP 32.2 IP 7.99 K/9 3.58 BB/9 0.1 fWAR B+

2012 in brief: Was quietly a reliable bullpen lefty for the first half before missing most of the second half with left elbow soreness and undergoing surgery in September.

2013 status: Enters final year before being arbitration-eligible and should return as steady member of the bullpen.

******

Quick: what’s your favorite memory of Scott Elbert this year?

You don’t have one, do you? Well, if you can’t remember much about what a non-closing reliever who got into 43 games did, that probably means he did a solid job. It’s when you start hearing about these guys that you’ve got a problem, and so Elbert’s general lack of publicity is a good sign.

It wasn’t always that way for Elbert, of course, who rebounded from a troubled 2010 marked by his mysterious departure from the organization to mark his first full season in the bigs in 2011. It’s actually kind of interesting to note that despite the fact that Elbert’s been around seemingly forever — 2012 was the fifth year in which he suited up for the Dodgers — and has been a primary lefty for two seasons now, he’s pitched just 92.1 innings in the majors. He’s actually been around for so long that when he debuted with the team on August 29, 2008, not only was Russell Martin leading off, but Jeff Kent & Nomar Garciaparra comprised the middle infield. Of the 15 Dodgers who played that day aside from Elbert, only Matt Kemp & Andre Ethier remain with the team, and otherwise only Martin, Hiroki Kuroda, James Loney, & Juan Pierre seem assured of big league jobs in 2013. Yet still, over four years later, Elbert’s not even reached one hundred innings yet.

That’s the life of the non-elite situational reliever, I suppose, though it’s more than fine for a minimum-salary type. It’s also the kind of guy you usually want to move on from as he reaches arbitration years, but his lack of wins and saves will hurt him with the arbitration board, and the Dodgers are far from a usual team anyway.

OPS
Home
Away
vRH
vLH
2011
.623
.600
.726
.517
2012
.431
.838
.515
.727

It’s that lack of meaningful sample sizes which has led to some wild splits over his two full seasons. As you can see in the chart at right, in 2011, Elbert was slightly better on the road — though not by much — while doing better against lefties, as you’d expect. In 2012, neither of those held true, and in fact they swung wildly in the other other direction. Considering we’re talking about just 30+ innings per year, I’m not sure we can really put a lot of stock into those trends either way, at least not without another year or two of data.

The biggest problem for Elbert last year was that after a good first half, he pitched only 7.2 innings after June thanks to two stints on the disabled list with left shoulder soreness, the second of which ended his season with cleanup surgery in September. He’s expected to be ready for camp, and he should have a spot waiting for him. At the moment, he’s the only lefty in the pen, unless Paco Rodriguez makes the cut or a long-expected trade for a veteran lefty gets made.

******

Next up! Todd Coffey is a socialism!

276 comments
Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

hitting publish on 1366 words of a NEW POST that I probably could have done in 700.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

over 1000 words on defense coming in a little while. It's good to be home.

Cochito Commish
Cochito Commish

How does it make you feel to know your left hand has never touched your left elbow and your right hand has never touched your right elbow?

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

46 days until pitchers and catchers report. Just saying. 

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

Facebook exchange:

 

Dodger Talk

Um just played my first full game on MLB the show 12 on my vita and it was tied in the bottom of the 11th and uribe pitch hit and hit a walk off home run. Only can happen In a video game -.-

Lol sorry I had to post this

--josh

 

Andres Madrigal

The same happened to me! Hahaha

 

 

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

I like the night crew here. ALL THE LIKES!!

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@Mike Petriello It has value.

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@Antonio_G D+

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

PS Vita is soooooo awesome

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @Mike Petriello   Looks like panic mode to me in Seattle.  Blocking Smoak with Morales, is that giving up on Smoak or just stupid?  Ibanez makes no sense at all, just a PR move or something.  The M's need to realize that in that division, sticking bubble gum in the cracks isn't going to get it done.  They have made some good moves IMO, ditching chaff like Ichiro, Figgins, and Olivo in recent times.  But the good young arms may be undone by an abomination of an offense.  And please don't count on Jason Bay, guys.  Great writeup, Mike.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Americans play baseball... But so does the rest of the cool world

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Torn between Mexico and Thailand

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

(cuz its an opinion and yours is different from mine so... Troll)

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

 @Antonio_G That show is so stupid funny. I couldn't stop laughing when they got fully torqued after wrestling 

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

 @Mike Petriello   Yep, but as you noted, they have others who need DH at bats (Jaso, Montero, Ibanez, etc).  They need to go young and hope some guys pan out.

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

 @Deuce Well, Smoak has been horrible. Ideally he's your 1B and Morales is the DH, so I don't know if it's blocking.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

And Verlander is a bed wetter.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

If they all did... It would be pretty brutal. But i dunno about Cain as a starter. You basically blew off Price. CY 2012

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

 @VietnamDodger it's okay, I'm delusional. Americans don't play in this event, which makes it that much more frustrating. 

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

VIETNAM...doesnt have players. *bows out*

Weston Taylor
Weston Taylor

 @VietnamDodger 

 

I see that and raise you a starting five of Verlander, Kershaw, Hamels, Cain, and Greinke/Weaver. 

 

A starting lineup consisting of 

CF Trout

LF Braun

RF Kemp

C Posey

DH Butler/Hamilton/Fielder

SS Tulowitzki

3B Longoria

1B Wright/Trumbo

2B Phillips

 

Yeah...If all those guys played, I would definitely like the Americans' chances. 

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

 @Antonio_G Antonio, you get me. This is on the verge of a bromance after this and The Dude dancing gif

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

 @Antonio_G Those are all great! I still Love Sunny in Philly and The Office. Oh, and can't forget Arrested Development

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Party Down has its moments.

Cochito Commish
Cochito Commish

 @DeucesWild I'm trying to come up with a favorite episode or favorite part but they're all so god damn funny. 

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

HELL LUMBERG FUCKED HER

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

I hate overnight call. Cuz circadian rhythm... But i love it cuz the sleepless nights mean hangin with you guys

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Now i have to watch that movie again.

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Of course... Bob.... Bob

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

 @VietnamDodger (I hope you were using an Office Space reference, otherwise my comment makes no sense)

MSTI OG
MSTI OG

Do you like Michael Bolton?