2012 Dodgers Player Profile: Ramon Troncoso; Running Out of Options

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 2: Ramon Troncoso #38 of the Los Angeles Dodgers poses during photo day at the Glendale Sports Complex on March 2, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)

Ramon Troncoso was living the dream back in 2009. A 26 year old at the time, Troncoso lead all Dodger relievers with 82.2 innings pitched and posted a very solid 2.72 ERA. He even threw three scoreless innings in the playoffs that season, and heading into 2010 he was expected to be a young arm that the Dodgers would be able to depend upon for years to come.

Unfortunately, things have changed since 2009. Troncoso's stats came back down to earth in 2010 as his ERA increased to 4.33, and he was used more in middle relief rather than in late inning situations. Then things really spun out of control in 2011, starting with a rough spring training that saw Troncoso get optioned to the minor leagues for the first time since 2008. Ramon found his way back to the big leagues in April but was roughed up in each of his first two appearances in Los Angeles and was sent back to Albuquerque. Troncoso ended up back in LA a month later for a more successful 30 day stint, but upon returning to AAA he struggled to the tune of a 5.05 ERA and was forgotten until September.

To say Troncoso's struggles came out of nowhere is probably inaccurate because there were several signs that pointed to an eventual decline. The first piece of evidence was that Troncoso didn't really have a whole lot of minor league success as the only time his ERA was under 4.00 in a full season league was in 2007. Outside of that season, his ERA was 5.21 in 2005, 4.43 in 2006, and 4.99 in 2008. Another warning sign was the fact that Ramon's ERA constantly out-performed his FIP, and that his strikeout rate has always been very low. Troncoso's minor league K/9 is 7.1, and his big league K/9 is 6.4. Finally, one big red flag came back in 2009 when Troncoso was probably over-worked by a manager famous for over using relievers. While Ramon has been able to stay away from the DL, it's possible that the 82 innings he threw in his first full big league season was a little too much for him arm.

At the end of the day, Ramon Troncoso's time on the Dodgers' 40 man roster could be nearing an end. Every time the club need to make room on their 40 man, Troncoso is usually the first name to come up as being on the chopping block (along with Trent Oelttjen). So far he's been saved by the axing of Russ Mitchell and the use of the 60 day DL, but when spring training ends it could very well mean the end for Ramon. He is definitely not in the team's bullpen plans to start the 2012 season, and he is now out of options. So it seems likely that when a guy like Josh Fields get added to the roster on Apri 4th, that Ramon is the one to go.

Trivia

Wikipedia has all sorts of fun facts about Ramon.

Troncoso is also known by the first name Landestoy as former Dodger Rafael Landestoy was his mothers favorite player. Also, Troncoso is known for his ability to cover Ricky Martin's music. He has sung "La Vida Loca" in multiple amateur music contests, once winning. He recently tried his hand at acting in the movie "Los Hombres, Las Montañas". The movie has been described as a Latino version of the famous skiing movie "Aspen Extreme".

Contract Status

Troncoso was on track to becoming a "Super Two" after the 2010 season, but his limited time in the big leagues during 2011 caused him to fall just short of the qualifications as he currently has 2 years and 143 days of big league service time. He remains under team control for 2012, but as mentioned above he is now out of minor league option.

Previous Dodgers Player Profiles:

2011: Ramon Troncoso, Utility Man

2010: Ramon Troncoso - Utility Man

Stats

Year Age IP BB/9 K/9 ERA FIP x-FIP tERA ERA+
2010 - MLB
27 54.0 3.0 5.7 4.33 4.67 4.30
4.26
90
2011 - AAA (Albuquerque)
28 57.0 4.1 6.5 5.05 5.01


2011 - MLB
28 22.2 1.6 5.6 6.75 5.19 3.54 5.58 56
2012 Projections - Age 29 Season



Source
IP BB/9 K/9 ERA FIP


ZiPS
74.1 3.6 5.9 4.72 4.50


Marcel
42.0 2.8 6.4 4.29 4.08


PECOTA
44.1 3.1 5.5 4.24 4.61


2012 Outlook

I made it clear above that I don't expect Troncoso to be on the 40 man roster much longer, so I don't think that Ramon sees Los Angeles in 2012. I do believe he'll clear waivers and spend the season in Albuquerque, but will then be passed by other minor leaguers and eventually become a minor league free agent.

What is your prediction? Be sure to guess Troncoso's ERA, number of innings pitched for the Dodgers, plus anything else you would like to forecast.

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