The Dodgers acquired Ricky Nolasco in early July, and he helped stabilize the Dodgers rotation down the stretch. But Nolasco and the Dodgers rotation head into the offseason with just as many questions as answers.
What went right
For all the pomp and circumstance surrounding Matt Garza and Jake Peavy, neither of those midseason acquisitions pitched as well for their new teams as Nolasco did with the Dodgers. Nolasco allowed three or fewer runs in each of his first 12 starts, including five straight quality starts in August and September, with a 1.32 ERA with 35 strikeouts and six walks in 41 innings.
His highlight was back-to-back starts with eight scoreless innings to end August, culminating with an 11-strikeout performance on Aug. 28 against the Cubs:
Nolasco was 8-1 with a 2.07 ERA in his first 12 starts, looking every bit the part of 1987 Doyle Alexander (9-0 with a 1.53 EA in 11 starts with the Tigers).
What went wrong
Unfortunately, the 1987 ALCS version of Doyle Alexander (0-2, 10.00 ERA in two starts) showed up at the end for Nolasco, who allowed 19 runs and 32 baserunners in 13 innings in his final four appearances.
Nolasco is a free agent, and is said to want five years and $80 million. But take a look at the last three years:
- Nolasco: 35-36, 596⅓ innings, 438 strikeouts, 137 walks, 4.29 ERA, 91 ERA+, 3.58 FIP, 3.76 xFIP
- Pitcher B: 33-43, 600⅔ innings, 603 strikeouts, 252 walks, 4.03 ERA, 86 ERA+, 3.67 FIP, 3.57 xFIP
Pitcher B is Tim Lincecum, who re-signed with the Giants for two years, $35 million without seeing the open market. Maybe Nolasco's demands aren't so crazy after all.