2013 in brief: Rushed to the bigs and made six starts of incredibly varying quality.
2014 status: Nice depth guy to have around, but probably spends most of his year in Triple-A.
Hey, it’s Matt Magill! He was shockingly forced into the rotation by the end of April after just four starts at Triple-A thanks to something like 17,029 different injuries to Dodger starters.
Though he’d had a successful 2012 in Double-A, we tried to keep some perspective going into his first start, knowing that he’d been placed in a pretty bad situation. Well, that, and laughing at just how ludicrous this all was:
Ah, 2013. You’re just the season that keeps on giving, aren’t you? Today’s spin of the giant wheel of injury lands on Stephen Fife, who came down with shoulder bursitis and finds himself joining Chris Capuano, Zack Greinke, and practically everyone else on the disabled list rather than starting tonight.
That means that just 23 games into the season, the Dodgers are forced to call on their ninth starting pitcher, 23-year-old righty Matt Magill. I’m not sure whether to laugh or to cry at this point, honestly. It’s like one of those jokes that gets killed through repetition, then keeps happening so long that it comes back around to being funny again. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself while wondering how long it’ll be until Rick Honeycutt just heads on out to the mound himself.
And at first, it was ugly. Magill’s first big league inning lasted 32 painful pitches, yet somehow didn’t end with any runs on the board, and he miraculously ended up pushing into the seventh, allowing only two runs. (Matt Guerrier blew the game. As usual.)
So we thought, “hey! Maybe there’s something here!” …and then Magill went out and managed only four outs in San Francisco his next time out. Thus began a season-long odyssey for the rookie, because after two more starts — both decent — he was optioned down for Ted Lilly. Magill made one start in Triple-A (six shutout innings in Nashville), came back for a start in Colorado and… oh. I’ll let Eric tell you:
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) June 2, 2013
It was only slightly better his next time out in Atlanta, after which he had 28 walks in 27.2 innings and a 7.15 FIP. That earned him a trip back to Triple-A, where after a relief appearance and a two-inning start, he landed on the disabled list with “right forearm tightness,” because he was a pitcher who appeared for the Dodgers in 2013… and we never saw him again, though he did spend the rest of the summer pitching reasonably well for the Isotopes.
Magill’s first taste of the bigs was rocky, of course, though I think we can all agree that he was never intended to be up as soon as he was. Looking ahead, the hope is that the Dodgers won’t really need to use him in 2014, but he’s nice depth to have around. I guess.
Next! Your friend and mine, Clayton Kershaw!