by Rowan Kavner
New Dodger pitcher Andrew Heaney, hoping to tap into his individual probable upcoming season in Los Angeles, understands the comparisons manufactured to baseball’s 2021 strikeout leader.
The Blue Jays signed Robbie Ray to a one-yr offer in November 2020 soon after the lefty posted a 6.62 Era when making it possible for 2.3 house runs for every activity with one of the maximum walk fees (7.8 per 9 innings) in the Majors. They believed they could get the most out of the former All-Star with an 11.8 % strikeout rate. The 2021 Cy Young Award finalist proceeded to gain the American League Period title (2.83) when putting out a Significant League-major 248 batters.
“I’m not sitting down right here predicting I’m going to acquire the Cy Youthful or anything at all next calendar year,” explained Heaney, who signed a a single-year deal with the Dodgers previously this 7 days. “But I consider teams seem at not only just pitchers’ stuff but also underlying metrics. I believe that is where a good deal of groups, specifically in a condition or a guy like me, exactly where it is a bounceback period — I’m fully admitting the year I experienced very last is not what I preferred to have — I do think there are some factors I can do a large amount greater, in all probability some definitely modest items, that are likely to make large discrepancies.”
Heaney, a fellow 30-yr-outdated remaining-hander with a substantial strikeout price (10.4 strikeouts for each nine innings previous year), thinks the Dodgers are the correct staff to support him realize his upside.
He struck out 150 batters in 129 2/3 innings in excess of 30 appearances (23 starts) in 2021 but also walked 41 batters and permitted a vocation-substantial 29 house operates. Even in a down calendar year, during which he went 8–9 with a 5.83 Era between the Angels and Yankees, Heaney rated in MLB’s 91st percentile in chase amount and 90th percentile in fastball spin rate — two intriguing traits for the Dodgers to work with.
Heaney was traded to the Yankees at the deadline and specified for assignment in early Oct. He elected totally free agency on Oct. 7, allowing him to start off chatting with teams prior to the postseason ended. Wherever he went, he wished to “get onboarded” with his new crew as quickly as possible to begin employing any essential modifications.
A sequence of Zoom conferences followed with likely suitors.
“It was seriously exciting to see how unique groups handled it, how various groups had distinct men and women on the calls — different, you could say, sales pitches, nevertheless you want to describe it,” Heaney reported. “There have been a couple teams that stood out, but genuinely, actually, the Dodgers have been just one of the most outstanding just the way that the device was so cohesive, the way that a good deal of the instances when guys would talk they would genuinely practically consider the words and phrases right out of my mouth with how I was emotion.”
Among the 7 or 8 people in the Zoom conference with the Dodgers ended up supervisor Dave Roberts and pitching coach Mark Prior. The Dodgers spelled out their approach and how they felt they could get the most effective out of Heaney, which built an affect on the remaining-hander.
Heaney is 32–38 with a 4.72 Era in his eight-yr job. When he concluded past period with a 5.83 Period, his anticipated Period was 4.03 and his strikeout amount (26.9%) was the 31st ideal amongst pitchers who threw at the very least 100 innings.
“I know I am a great deal improved than my figures say I was final 12 months, and I consider it was truly thrilling and eye-opening to see, frankly, not just the Dodgers but how several other groups felt the similar way,” Heaney mentioned. “But at the identical time I wished to seriously have a excellent partnership with whatever workforce I signed with, with a workforce that believed in what I can be and experienced a procedure in area to enable me get there.”
He has already started out digging into what he likes to do, what he does not like to do, what he does perfectly and what he can do much better with the Dodgers’ team.
“Being able to have that open up and straightforward conversation with them was definitely a thing I was psyched about — extra of a collaborative exertion,” Heaney said. “And definitely the Dodgers’ monitor record speaks for by itself. I didn’t will need much of a revenue pitch to know where by they are coming from, what they can do and what fellas in this business have accomplished ahead of.”
Even though Heaney didn’t go into particulars of what was talked about, he claimed mechanics, energy and conditioning, pitch selection and pitch use have been all matters of discussion. He believed the Dodgers experienced a obvious concept of who he was as a pitcher and how they can enable him get in which he wishes to go.
The Dodgers realized they’d have to rebuild the depth in their rotation this offseason, and Heaney could provide an vital piece.
“I’m definitely energized,” Heaney explained. “I can notify you some of the issues they have for me are particularly achievable and things I never seriously believed of, tiny small tweaks that had under no circumstances really crossed my mind or experienced in no way been introduced to my notice. I’m energized since I feel there is some genuinely reduced-hanging fruit, but I also have an understanding of some of the matters they want me to do I consider are going to be a bit additional complicated and some stuff I’m likely to have to buckle down and do the job hard this offseason to not just do 1 or two times but persistently do every single time I take the mound.”