I have to be honest. After the Dodgers signed four free agent starting pitchers this season, I never thought I would be writing about Tim Redding at any meaningful length this season. Yet, after arm surgery for Vicente Padilla and a strained oblique for Jon Garland, the Dodgers find themselves in need of a fifth starter, at least for part of April.
The Dodgers have two off days in the first week of the season, and as a result they don't need a fifth starter until April 12. While we don't know the exact return dates of Garland or Padilla, it seems reasonable to expect the Dodgers to need another starting pitcher for at least two or three times in the first month, if not more. That spot will almost certainly be filled by either Redding or John Ely.
Ely has an advantage in that he is already on the 40-man roster, but if the Dodgers feel Redding would give them better starts than Ely I don't think they would hesitate to add him to the roster. Redding last pitched in the majors in 2009, and pitched in Triple A for both the Rockies and Yankees in 2010. Redding was on a hot streak with the Yankees' Triple A team in Scranton Wilkes-Barre last season, going 5-0 with a 0.83 ERA and 0.69 WHIP in July, but he promptly left the team to sign with the Samsung Lions of the Korean League on August 5. Redding started the opening game of the 2010 Korean Series for Samsung, but the SK Wyverns swept the series 4-0.
Redding pitched 13 games in relief for the Mets in 2009, and he made 50 total starts in 2008 and 2009, between Washington and New York. He was pretty consistent in both seasons as a starter, and in those 50 starts he averaged 5.56 innings per start, 3.40 walks and 5.92 strikeouts per nine innings, and a 4.95 ERA. Redding has been prone to giving up the long ball, though; among the 126 pitchers with 200 total innings in 2008-2009, Redding was 112th in homers allowed per nine innings, at 1.34. For what it's worth, Redding did allow only four home runs in 109 Triple A innings last year.
Redding was drafted by the Astros in the 20th round of the 1997 draft, 11 picks after old friend Mark Hendrickson was taken by the Blue Jays.
Redding's great aunt is Joyce Randolph, who played Trixie Norton on the Honeymooners.
Redding signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers on December 28, 2010.
|2011 Projections - Age 33 Season|
Both Ely and Redding have pitched relatively well this spring, each not allowing a run until their fourth appearance. Ely has the stellar 10-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 10 innings this spring, while Redding has seven strikeouts and three walks in his 12 innings. I think the battle for temporary starter is a tossup at this point, and it just becomes a matter of how much Ely's second-half fade last year is fresh in the mind of Dodgers' coaches. My guess is that the Dodgers will go with the veteran Redding to start the season, and that he makes five starts, with a 4.76 ERA in 28 1/3 innings.
What is your prediction? Be sure to guess Redding's ERA, number of innings pitched for the Dodgers, plus anything else you would like to predict.