Monday, December 18, 2017

Welcome to the Blue, Tom Koehler!

Before we got word of the blockbuster trade that sent several high-priced veterans to Atlanta was announced, we found out on Friday that the Dodgers had added another arm to their bullpen. The Dodgers made their very first offseason move following the Winter Meetings by signing free agent pitcher Tom Koehler to a one-year deal (not yet confirmed and awaiting a physical exam). Per Ken Gurnick at
Koehler, 31, was non-tendered by Toronto, which acquired him from Miami in August. Koehler was 0-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 15 games (14 in relief) with the Blue Jays after going 1-5 with a 7.92 ERA in 12 starts with the Marlins. As a converted starter, Koehler would fit the multi-inning reliever role the Dodgers rely on with most of their starting pitchers lasting barely five innings per game. 
"As teams are trying to maximize roster spots, I think it's going to become more common," general manager Farhan Zaidi said of the multi-inning reliever during this week's Winter Meetings.
Koehler had been almost exclusively a starting pitcher until the trade. At the Meetings, Zaidi said the club continues to be intrigued by starters whose stuff "plays up" when they are moved to the bullpen and can shed the mindset some starters have of pacing themselves. 
"It's proven over and over, guys' stuff plays up and guys have success going from one role to the other," said Zaidi. "It can give guys a second career."
You can follow Tom on twitter here: @TKREFRESH22. Below are some interested tidbits:
After a 7.42 ERA in 13 starts, the Blue Jays shortly after acquiring him in late August shifted him to the bullpen. In 14 relief appearances with Toronto Koehler had a 3.00 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 12 innings. In relief Koehler’s strikeout rate jumped from 18% to 21.6%, and per Brooks Baseball his average fastball increased from 93.03 mph to 94.05 mph.
Another big bullpen difference for Koehler was his curveball, thrown a third of the time in relief compared to 19.45% as a starter. 
“It’s something I always thought that I could possibly do,” Koehler told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet in August. “I love starting. I love what it takes, the preparation, the routine behind everything. But I’m sure in time (relieving) is something I can learn to do.”
This signing is obviously a hope that we can once again find unrealized talent. In other words, we are hoping mightily that Tom Koehler will be our new Brandon Morrow.

In honor of his signing with the club, I made the above two fantasy Baseball cards of him seen above.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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