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Friday, February 19, 2010
Mike MacDougal signs minor league deal with MarlinsPosted by Tommy Rancel at 7:05am
After spending most of his nine major league seasons in the American League Central, Mike MacDougal will remain in the National League East in 2010. MacDougal, 32, was picked up by the Washington Nationals in 2009 after starting the season with the Chicago White Sox. He proved to be serviceable in the Nationals pen as he racked up 20 saves in 21 opportunities. In his first NL action, he posted a 3.60 ERA in 52 games. Those numbers didn't fool anyone this offseason and now MacDougal will have to battle for a roster post with the Florida Marlins.
Despite the shiny, 3.60 ERA, MacDougal was a below average reliever. In 54.1 total innings last season, he walked more batters (38) than he struckout (34). 2009 marked the third straight season in which his walks per nine innings(BB/9) topped 6.25! In his time with the Nationals, he was helped by a lower than normal BABIP of .276. This helped to keep his ERA lower than it should have been. Over the past three seasons he has struckout 85 batters while handing out 83 free passes. If he wasn't blessed with a fastball that settles around 95 MPH, he most likely would've been out of baseball a while ago.
Nonetheless, he does possess that blazing heater and as long as he does he will continue to get jobs. He also really likes that fastball as he threw it over 95% of the time he spent in D.C. Despite the heat, MacDougal doesn't strikeout as many batters as you would expect. His career strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) is an okay 7.66, but was just 5.63 last season.
The two good skills he brings to the table are ground balls and the ability to keep his fly balls in the park. In his nine-year career, MacDougal has gotten 58% ground balls. That number jumped up to 62.1% last season. His career home run per nine innings (HR/9) is a nifty 0.60 despite a relatively normal home run-to-fly ball ratio of 9.2%.
In recent years, the Marlins have done a fantastic job of taking fungible relievers and getting fantastic use out of them. From Kevin Gregg to Joe Nelson to Kiko Calero this past year, the team has excelled in getting something for nothing. They are hoping that either Seth McClung, Jose Veras, Derrick Turnbow or MacDougal can be that guy this year.
Although his contract is a minor league deal, there is a decent chance MacDougal starts the season as Leo Nunez's primary set-up man. If something should happen to Nunez physically, or should he just suffer from ineffectiveness, MacDougal could get an opportunity to close some games. That will bring some fantasy value to the table, but saves are about all he'll offer your team.
Tommy Rancel is the Editor-In-Chief of DRaysBay as well as a contributor at Beyond the Box Score
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