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2021 Dodgers in review: Caleb Ferguson

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A year of rehab for the LHP

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

It’s reliever Tommy John surgery comeback weekend here at True Blue LA. One day after Tommy Kahnle’s season review, Sunday brings us to left-hander Caleb Ferguson, who also missed the entire 2021 season but is expected to provide a key role in the 2022 bullpen.

After switching from starting to relief, Ferguson found his footing in the majors in 2018. He pitched his way into an important role in 2020, pitching in high-leverage situations in the seventh and eighth innings. Ferguson was one of the Dodgers’ best relievers during the championship season but things ended early for the left-hander, walking off the mound on September 15 in San Diego.

Tommy John surgery ended his 2020 season and wiped out all of 2021 as well. It was the second Tommy John surgery for Ferguson, who also underwent the procedure in May 2014 while in high school, a month before the Dodgers drafted him in the 38th round.

Like Kahnle, Ferguson is expected to be a key part of the Dodgers bullpen in 2022.

In three major league seasons, Ferguson has a 29.1-percent strikeout rate and 8.7-percent walk rate. That will play, especially if it trends closer to his 36-percent/4-percent ratio in the pandemic-shortened 2020. Ferguson doesn’t have discernible career splits and has usually been asked to get both sides out, giving him value among left-handers during the time of three-batter minimums.

Despite not pitching at all in 2021, it was still a momentous year for Ferguson, who got married on November 20.

2021 particulars

Age: 24

Stats: did not pitch (Tommy John surgery)

Salary: $600,500

Roster status

With three years, 93 days of major league service time, Ferguson is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time. Projections at MLB Trade Rumors have Ferguson pegged for a $700,000 salary in 2022. He has two option years remaining.