Thursday, December 11, 2014

Welcome to the Blue, Chris Hatcher!

I wouldn't be surprised if relief pitcher Chris Hatcher ends up being an important piece to the Dee Gordon trade.  As you know, the Dodgers acquired Hatcher, along with a bunch of other prospects for Gordon, Haren and Rojas.  He is a recently converted catcher, much like Kenley Jansen, and ended up turning some heads last season.  You may follow him on twitter here: @handlebars41.

Per a Dodgers Press Release:
Hatcher appeared in a career-high 52 games for the Marlins last year, posting a 3.38 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 56.0 innings. He opened the season with Triple-A New Orleans, where he went 1-2 with five saves and a 2.01 ERA in 15 appearances.

Hatcher, 29, was originally selected by the club in the fifth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft as a catcher out of University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He made his big league debut as a catcher in 2010, appearing in five games, but converted to pitching in 2011 and made the first of his 81 MLB appearances that year (0-4, 4.82 ERA). As a minor leaguer, he has posted a 9-6 record with 55 saves and a 2.23 ERA in 156 relief appearances, while limiting opposing hitters to a .220 batting average with 193 strikeouts and only 68 walks in 185.1 innings.
He should slot in nicely as a middle reliever, and could very well be a steal for the club.  His acquisition is clearly a reflection of smart Baseball people finding value when others (namely Colletti) would have just gone after over-the-hill has-been closers to fill those roles.  

At midnight last night Dodger egghead Andrew Friedman had this to say about Hatcher:
We like Hatcher quite a bit. We feel like he fits in really well within the constructs of our current bullpen and really lengthens our pen. He’s got really good stuff, misses bats and we feel like has a chance to really help us in 2015 and beyond.
Of note, earlier this year Hatcher beat the crap out of a teammate in AAA.  Per Darrell Williams at The New Orleans Advocate, "Zephyrs’ Chris Hatcher suspended five games after fight."
New Orleans Zephyrs All-Star relief pitcher Chris Hatcher was suspended five games by the Miami Marlins after a fight with reliever Sam Dyson resulted in Dyson’s jaw being broken.

The fight occurred at a Nashville bar on April 29 during the team’s just-completed eight-game road trip, a source in the organization said. Hatcher refused to disclose the reason for the fight.
I guess you don't want to get on his bad side.

In celebration of Hatcher's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photograph grabbed from a photo from Zimbio (Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America) and the 1971 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are the career stats for Chris Hatcher, via Baseball-Reference:

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