Brandon McCarthy fell victim to the blister epidemic of 2017 and also missed time with knee and shoulder issues. Those injuries limited him to 92.2 innings, giving McCarthy a total of 155.2 frames combined over the past three seasons; he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015. As is the case with a lot of pitchers coming off reconstructive elbow surgery, McCarthy struggled with his control in 2016, issuing walks at a 5.9 BB/9 clip. That number fell back closer in line with his career average last season (2.6 BB/9 in 2017) as he pumped in first-pitch strikes to 65.1 percent of the batters he faced. His strikeout rate was modest at 7.0 K/9, but a mid-30s O-Swing percentage hints at room for growth in that department, and McCarthy was good at limiting the long ball (0.49 HR/9). He was shipped to Atlanta along with Scott Kazmir in a multi-player deal this offseason, as the Braves wanted veteran arms to serve as placeholders while they await their hoard of high-end pitching prospects. McCarthy's spot in the rotation should be secure for as long as he stays healthy in 2018.
McCarthy is considered to be a lock for the Braves' rotation this season, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. With a number of very young arms in Atlanta's arsenal, the 34-year-old righty seems poised to be the veteran presence of the pitching staff. McCarthy has proven to be a huge injury risk, but he did produce a decent 3.98 ERA with a mere 0.5 HR/9 in 92.2 innings with the Dodgers last season. He will likely be afforded as many innings as his body can handle this season while acting as the number two or three starter for the Braves.
McCarthy was traded to the Braves along with Scott Kazmir (hip), Adrian Gonzalez (back), Charlie Culberson and cash in exchange for Matt Kemp on Saturday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. McCarthy made just 19 appearances (16 starts) last season due to injuries and a crowded rotation in Los Angeles, posting a 3.98 ERA and 1.25 WHIP across 92.2 innings. Injuries have gotten the best of the veteran hurler in recent years -- he's registered just 155.2 innings over the past three seasons -- but he should factor into the Braves' rotation next season as long as he's healthy.
McCarthy was included on the Dodgers' World Series roster, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. McCarthy will take the roster spot of Kyle Farmer, who was strictly used as a pinch hitter this postseason, going 0-for-4 with an RBI. The 34-year-old has appeared in just three games since the start of August -- with his last outing coming Oct. 1 -- but the Dodgers ultimately decided his length in the bullpen would be beneficial. McCarthy posted a 3.98 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 92.2 innings this season.
McCarthy (finger) will be activated from the 60-day DL next Friday, when the Dodgers begin their final homestand, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. Although McCarthy appears to be on the verge of a return to the big-league club following Friday's rehab start with Triple-A Tulsa, the Dodgers will wait to bring him back until next weekend. There hasn't been much word on whether he will rejoin the rotation or take on a role in the bullpen, but that information will likely become known over the course of this upcoming week. Since McCarthy is currently off the 40-man roster, and the Dodgers are playing with a full roster at the moment, the team will need to make a corresponding move when it reinstates the right-hander.
McCarthy (finger) looked good in Friday's rehab start and appears ready to rejoin the Dodgers, Barry Lewis of the Tulsa World reports. He gave up two earned runs on five hits and zero walks with two strikeouts in six innings for Triple-A Tulsa, throwing 50 of his 71 pitches for strikes. The Dodgers will likely activate him from the 60-day DL when eligible Sept. 19, and he could slot into the rotation next week in Philadelphia. Of course, that would mean the Dodgers bump someone from the rotation, or use McCarthy as a spot starter. McCarthy could also be an option out of the bullpen, but considering he is now stretched out, that seems unlikely.