2012 in brief: Veteran was quietly effective in between April knee surgery and July elbow surgery which ended his season.
2013 status: $2.5m club option was declined and he’s unlikely to pitch at all as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery, though it may not stop him from attempting to defend America from the unseen threat of forces that threaten capitalism.
I feel like I’m not even sure how to appropriately grade Coffey here. A 4.66 ERA isn’t great, and neither is missing several weeks in April with knee surgery and then blowing out his arm entirely in early July, limiting his season (and likely Dodger career) to only 19.1 innings over 23 outings. Since he allowed four earned runs in his first three appearances, he fell victim to the usual trap of ERA over small sample sizes, and it didn’t get back below 7 until June. As you can imagine, he was hardly the most popular reliever among fans simply due to that.
And yet… when healthy, Coffey was actually pretty effective. He appeared in 10 June games, and didn’t allow an earned run in any, part of a “15 scoreless outings in 16 games” streak dating back to early May. Of his 23 games, he allowed earned runs in only five, and three of them came in appearances clearly affected by his knee & elbow.
Besides, if we remember when Coffey was surprisingly signed in February, I was pretty pleased with the move:
So a durable, pudgy, entertaining ROOGY for $1.3m? Can’t argue that, even if you can make a pretty convincing argument that he’s a better reliever (younger, better FIP, higher K/BB in 2010-11) than Matt Guerrier, who received 9.2x as much cash last winter over three years.
I’m not entirely sure that another veteran bullpen arm was strictly necessary at this point, but Coffey is useful enough and for the $1.3m he’s getting, you can’t really argue with it. Works for me.
And I think it would have, had he not been injured. Sadly, his Tommy John surgery is likely to keep him out well into next season, and it’s doubtful he suits up as a Dodger again.
But let’s be honest, none of that is why we’re going to remember Todd Coffey, right? I feel like Coffey’s the kind of guy who worries that “Red Dawn” — the original one, not the remake that never happened — was a documentary.
Next up! Shawn Tolleson makes his debut!