December 20, 2014

McDonald Headed to the Pen

James McDonald will be coming out of ther bullpen to start the year, mirroring the development plan for Chad Billingsley in 2007.  The move gives Joe Torre a big arm capable of working a lot of innings and definitely reduces the pressure on the Dodgers’ 2008 Minor League Pitcher of the Year.  It’s also interesting to note that McDonald’s fastball topped out in the 88-92 mph range as a starter, but rose to 96 mph as a reliever.

Thinking back to last season, I remember Ned expressing concern about Clayton Kershaw’s rush to the majors and the huge increase in sheer innings that starting pitchers that make the jump experience.  Ned’s always been cautious with his young arms, and I really can’t fault the guy.  The way the club handled both Bills and Kershaw was fantastic, and both had successful transitions to the majors (granted, 2009 will be Kershaw’s first full year with LA).

In other “news,” the Dodgers signed former Dodgers SS Juan Castro and RP Tanyon Sturtze to minor league deals.