2013 Dodgers in Review #32: SP Ricky Nolasco

3.15 ERA90topps_rickynolasco / 3.52 FIP 87.0 IP 7.76 K/9 2.17 BB/9 (A)

2013 in brief: Production for nothing, and starts for free: a good trade at the time looked even better in retrospect.

2014 status: Signed a four-year contract with Minnesota in November.

******

When the Dodgers acquired Ricky Nolasco from Miami in early July, after days of speculation, I was out of town (naturally), but I was still able to find my way to a computer to point out how much sense this trade made:

Of course, all along we worried about the cost, and that’s where this really seems like a win. Going back to Miami are righty minor league pitchers Steve AmesAngel Sanchez, and Josh Wallper Jon Heyman and Chris Cotillo, and I have to say I really, really like this idea. We’ve seen Wall, and he’s fine, but he’s 26 with a middle reliever ceiling at best. Sanchez has shown talent but is on his third year in A-ball and probably profiles as a reliever. Ames has gaudy minor league numbers — at least he did until getting to Albuquerque this year — but is 25 and doesn’t have the scouting reports to back up those numbers.

So what Ned Colletti has done here is beef up the pitching depth by adding a starter who immediately becomes one of the team’s best five starters, and he’s given up only three good-but-not-great relief prospects to do it. No Zach Lee, no Ross Stripling, no Zachary Bird, not even a Chris Withrow or a Garrett Gould. The Dodgers also pick up all of Nolasco’s remaining salary for the year — which, who cares — and there were unconfirmed reports that the Dodgers may collect some international signing cap room as well.

If they do, that’s just gravy. Nolasco isn’t great, but he’s an improvement, and the price is minimal. Really, really nicely done by the Dodgers, once this is official.

If it looked good at the time, it looked even better when Stephen Fife immediately got hurt and Nolasco stabilized a rotation that was facing some severe back-end depth issues and ripped off about two months of excellent performance. In his first 12 starts, he allowed one or zero earned runs five times, never once allowing more than three, and putting up an absurd 62/17 K/BB. He shut out the Red Sox over eight innings; he struck out 11 Cubs in eight shutout innings; he went into St. Louis and tossed five shutout innings. We were hoping for depth, but we got greatness instead.

Yet it wasn’t just magic, was it? After seeing how new teammate Zack Greinke used his fastball, Nolasco began using his slider as his primary pitch for the first time in his career:nolasco_pitches

By early September we were envisioning just how wealthy the free agent market would make him — I guessed 4/$60m — but some of the shine came off when he completely fell apart in his final three months of the year, allowing 17 earned runs, and then getting passed over for a start in the NLDS when Clayton Kershaw took Game 4 on short rest. For a while, we thought the same thing might happen in the NLCS, but he did start Game 4, despite not having started in three weeks, and he lasted just four innings.

Though it seemed clear Nolasco preferred to remain as a Dodger, the team never gave any public indication they were willing to match what he would get on the market, and the arrival of Dan Haren on a one-year deal seemed to seal his fate. Nolasco heads off to Minnesota, but this was a trade absolutely worth making, one that worked out well.

******

Next! Hyun-jin Ryu!

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230 comments
Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

Crawford 7, Puig 9, Kemp 8, Ramirez 6, Gonzalez 3, Guerrero 4, Uribe 5, Ellis 2, Kershaw 1

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Via BrooksBaseball:


In 2013:

Against All Fastballs (1,006 seen), he has had a very good eye (1.26 d'; 78% swing rate at pitches in the zone vs. 31% swing rate at pitches out of the zone) and a very aggressive approach at the plate (-0.14 c) with a league average likelihood to swing and miss (16% whiff/swing).

Against Breaking Pitches (572 seen), he has had a very good eye (0.98 d'; 75% swing rate at pitches in the zone vs. 38% swing rate at pitches out of the zone) and a very aggressive approach at the plate (-0.18 c) with a league average likelihood to swing and miss (35% whiff/swing).

Against Offspeed Pitches (149 seen), he has had a good eye (1.14 d'; 87% swing rate at pitches in the zone vs. 49% swing rate at pitches out of the zone) and a very aggressive approach at the plate (-0.56 c) with an above average likelihood to swing and miss (38% whiff/swing). 

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

Lakers should trade Pau for CP3 type player, then have David Stern reject the deal

P_F_P
P_F_P

What is your opinion of the Uribe signing, Hurtin?

Quasimodo
Quasimodo

Not me. but thanks to Juan for 'how to prepare crow'. Only two words describe it........yummy-yummy

Deuce (is loose)
Deuce (is loose)

Can anyone in their wildest dreams imagine us celebrating a Uribe extension at this time last year??  Baseball.

Quasimodo
Quasimodo

Well, Mike....if you weren't busy at your keyboard earlier I imagine you're about finished about the success of Dodgers reaching an agreement with our friend, Juan Uribe. Cheers!

blublooded25
blublooded25

Dammmm....didn't want to go two years but I guess it had to be done......we can use him as a bench piece next year I guess......hopefully it's around 2 yr 10 mil

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Juan played a game in center for the Rockies in 2003. Hah.

KMT59
KMT59

Much Refreshed    Good feelings     wow

blublooded25
blublooded25

Uribear signed for two years..........stays in l.a

PagansOedipalComplex
PagansOedipalComplex

It's a move for defense, which makes it more important to not trade Kemp, i'm glad it's stayed relatively quiet on that front

definitely seemed like it was a bunch of bored sportswriters stirring the pot in terms of Kemp rumors

P_F_P
P_F_P

Fun hobby: going back in time to March 2013 and telling your past self that you would be raucously celebrating a Uribe two-year extension in December.

*VND*
*VND*

Jobu is crying in his beer mug right now

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P_F_P

@Catfishin I am not hearing this, Kyle. I am reading it, on a computer screen.

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@DBrim Why didn't he play CF in the playoffs with Matt out so we could play Young at 3B?

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@KMT59 Please re-post this gif with Uribe's face shopped onto Bender's body, ty

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P_F_P

@The Notorious VND Between this and the possible Tanaka non-posting last night he'll be crying in his vodka mug tomorrow morning.

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@DKDodgers *your opinion on whether or not this is a good move for the Dodgers