Louis Coleman parlayed a strong spring training into a spot on the Dodgers roster, and was a key part of the bullpen all season.
What went right
Coleman was a relatively-late sign last offseason, signing with the Dodgers in late February after getting released by the Royals on Feb. 3. After seven years in Kansas City’s organization, Coleman had one of my favorite quotes of 2016 during spring training.
"I was upset when I got let go because I wanted to be with them forever,” Coleman said. “I wanted to be the middle reliever Derek Jeter that stayed with them for 20 years.”
Coleman posted a 2.95 ERA in 24 games in the first two months of the season, with 22 strikeouts (25.6% K rate) and nine walks in 21⅓ innings, with opposing batters hitting .149/.247/.230.
He held right-handed batters to hitting .232/.302/.394, and struck out 23.6% of them.
Coleman appeared in a career-best 61 games in 2016, one of six Dodgers pitchers to appear in at least 58 games. Coleman was the only Dodgers pitcher this year to pitch on four straight days, doing so June 11-14.
What went wrong
Coleman missed a month on the disabled list in August with right shoulder fatigue.
From June 1 through the end of the season, Coleman posted a 6.08 ERA in 37 games, with 23 strikeouts (18.4% K rate) and 15 walks in 26⅔ innings. Opposing hitters batted .321/.411/.547 during that span.
Left-handed batters hit .316/.480/.500 against Coleman, 12-for-38 with more walks (11) than strikeouts (7).
Coleman allowed only five home runs during the season, but three came in a five-appearance span from Sept. 15-27.
Coleman was left off the Dodgers’ roster in both the NLDS and NLCS.
Stats: 4.69 ERA, 4.31 FIP in 61 games, 45 K, 24 BB in 48 IP; -0.4 rWAR, 0.1 fWAR
Game of the year
Coleman struck out three in 1⅓ scoreless innings on July 31, earning the win against the Diamondbacks.
Coleman has four years, 18 days of major league service time and was eligible for salary arbitration. But he was non-tendered by the Dodgers on Dec. 2, making him a free agent.