Hatcher (oblique) is in camp and will compete for a bullpen job this spring, Cary Osbourne of Dodger Insider reports. Hatcher was shut down last year after suffering a grade 3 oblique strain. The results were not pretty before the injury as he was hit to the tune of a 5.53 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 40.2 innings. The difference between last year's totals and the sub-four ERAs he posted in 2014 and 2015 was his inability to keep the ball in the yard (1.8 HR/9 in 2016). Now healthy, Hatcher will compete for a middle relief role in Dodgers' bullpen this season.
Hatcher signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers on Thursday to avoid arbitration. Hatcher might have been in danger of a non-tender from the Dodgers, but he'll return to Los Angeles in 2017 trying to show his immense struggles last season were an aberration. He finished 2016 with a 5.53 ERA in 40.2 innings, striking out 43 and allowing eight homers.
Hatcher (oblique) is unlikely to pitch again this season according to manager Dave Roberts, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Hatcher apparently suffered a Grade 3 strain, and although his original timetable had him in line for a mid-September approach, it appears the Dodgers are leaning towards shutting down the reliever -- a move that is a bit surprising considering their need for bullpen help.
Hatcher was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, with a strained left oblique, Eric Stephen of True Blue LA reports. Hatcher's outing Tuesday (three runs on two hits and a walk without recording an out) wasn't very impressive, but it's certainly possible the oblique issue played a part in it. The official timeline remains unclear, but the team replaced him on the 25-man roster with Charlie Culberson, who was recalled from Triple-A and will start at shortstop Wednesday.
Hatcher has pitched 8.1 innings across five games in June, allowing two earned runs in that time. Although Hatcher's ERA is 4.71, he's improved greatly after giving up 10 earned runs in his first 11 innings of the season. He's allowed just five runs In the 17.2 innings that followed, good for a 2.55 ERA in that time. However, Hatcher's 13.5 percent walk rate leaves much to be desired, especially after 2015's mark of 7.8 percent.