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2015 Dodgers review: Carlos Frias

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Frias has shown value the last two seasons as a swing man for the Dodgers, and while he helped when he was very much needed in the starting rotation in 2015, I wonder if his best days lie ahead of him out of the bullpen.

What went right

With both Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy out for the season, and the Dodgers having churned through a bevy of Triple-A starters on a tryout basis, Frias teamed with Mike Bolsinger to help stabilize the starting rotation through May and June.

Frias was good in spurts for the Dodgers, and allowed three or fewer runs in nine of his 13 starts.

Through his first four starts, plus two short relief appearances to open the season, Frias had a 2.55 ERA with 19 strikeouts and only six walks, and an 18.3-percent strikeout rate.

Frias had a 55.1-percent ground ball rate, fifth-highest among the 31 to throw a pitch for the Dodgers in 2015.

As a reliever, all of four appearances, Frias did not allow a run in 6⅓ innings, allowing five hits and three walks, with three strikeouts.

Frias was death on right-handed batters, holding them to just .251/.297/.353 in 2015. Since the start of 2014, right-handed batters in the majors and minors combined have hit .269/.314/.383 against him.

What went wrong

Frias had a blow-up start for a second straight season in limited duty, this time allowing 10 runs on 12 hits in four innings in a loss to the Padres on May 24.

After that start, Frias put up a 3.31 ERA in 49 major league innings, which was good, but he had nearly as many walks (18) as strikeouts (24) and his strikeout rate sank to 11.8 percent.

In 2014, Frias' major league strikeout rate was 21.2 percent.

Left-handed batters hit .357/.429/.473 against Frias in 2015, and in the majors and minors combined in 2014-15 they have hit .320/.368/.431 against him.

At the plate Frias was 1-for-21 with a walk and 12 strikeouts, though his one major league hit was a beautiful bunt single (for the fastest pitcher on the staff, easily) on May 30 against the Cardinals.

Frias missed July and August with a back strain, before rejoining the Dodgers for the final few weeks of the regular season.

2015 particulars

Age: 25

Stats: 4.06 ERA, 4.32 FIP in 17 games, 13 starts, 43 K, 26 BB, 77⅔ IP,  0.4 rWAR, 0.4 fWAR

Salary: somewhere likely slightly above the minimum salary of $507,500; Frias earned a pro-rated share for his time in the majors, estimated at roughly $455,000.

Game of the year

Frias made a spot start on Sept. 23 against Arizona, with just two days rest after a two-inning relief appearance, and he lasted four strong innings, retiring 12 of 13 batters faced. Frias walked none, struck out two, and the only batter to reach base reached all of the bases, with Paul Goldschmidt hitting his regularly scheduled home run against the Dodgers.

Roster status

Frias has one year, 47 days of service time, and has two option years remaining, having used one in 2015. He is still two years away from eligibility for salary arbitration.