Mike MacDougal Gets a Pity Date

January 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Posted in Mike MacDougal | 8 Comments

Mike MacDougal, who signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers today, probably ranks up there with guys like Matt Capps and Kevin Gregg on the “just because you get saves, it does not make you a great pitcher” scale. A few seasons of 20+ saves with the Royals have apparently earned him the right to be referred to as “former All-Star” in team press releases.

MacDougal’s not, you know, any good, nor does he seem to have any real chance of cracking a Dodger bullpen which is not only righty-heavy but also pretty stocked already. Over the last four seasons with the White Sox, Cardinals, and Nationals, he’s put up a 1.783 WHIP with a 99/95 K/BB ratio in 132 innings. That’s the kind of stuff which will play hilariously in Albuquerque, though he does still throw hard (94.7 MPH average on his fastball last year).

Of course, it’s just a minor-league deal with an invite to camp, so there’s really nothing to get worked up about. On the plus side, his middle name is “Meiklejohn,” which is actually pretty awesome.



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  1. Why does Ned keep signing righty pitchers?? He couldnt have saved some time and signed like Joe Biemal to a minor league deal rather then ANOTHER righty that wont make it???

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Los Angeles Dodgers and Robama, Mike Petriello. Mike Petriello said: Mike MacDougal Gets a Pity Date: http://wp.me/p69kq-1DL […]

  3. Like you say, Mike MacDougal hasn’t been very good basically for his whole career. He did have a couple seasons of bounty for his original team, the Royals in 2003 and 2005 saving a total of 48 games. His best year statistically was ’05 with a 72/24 K/BB and a 3.68/1.41 ERA/WHIP in 134 and 1/3 innings. It’s a long time to be bad but he did go to the Shawn Chacon school for saves in 2009 for the Nationals, saving 20 of 21 games with a 30/30 K/BB. Just goes to show that saves is more about opportunity then anything else! I can’t see MacDougal really being a helper to the parent club but his stuff may play well for AAA. If he could cut down on his walks he probably wouldn’t be too much worse then Matt Guerrier. But, as you point out Mike, the 95 walks over his last 132 innings presents a problem.

  4. My best memory of MacDougal from a fantasy perspective was in the 2nd half of the 2009 season. I picked him up in my $260-NL and a few days later he became the closer for the Washington Nationals. He did save 20 of 21 games helping me to a 2nd place finish in that league. For the Nats, MacDougal had a 30/30 K/BB. He did have a 3.60 ERA but a WHIP of 1.52 proved he wasn’t very good. A guy in my expert $360-NL after the season kept trying to sell me a low-cost MacDougal for some real bounty. But, given that the league is called an “expert” league where some of the very best players in the country are in, I was hoping that owner would know that I saw right through that thinly veiled effort of a fair trade. Because, as the Dodgers will soon find out, where MacDougal is concerned, nothing is fair! He’s had 2 seasons of bounty with 27 SV for the Royals in 2003 and a 4.08/1.50 ERA/WHIP in 64 IP with a 57/32 K/BB. For the Royals in 2005, in 70 1/3 IP, he had 21 SV a 3.33/1.33 and a 72/24 K/BB. But since the beginning of 2007, like Michael pointed out, he has a 99/95 K/BB, 141 HA, and a 5.25/1,78 ERA/WHIP in 132 IP. So, yes Abbie, your statement of his ability is spot on! And I agree that Beimel would have been better but supposedly if he makes the Pirates, he’s been promised a couple million. That’s too much for a guy that retires 30 LH batters a season. But I do like the Dodger tenacity of now waiting on the deals the polar opposite of how they spent the early part of this off-season, like every free agent was going to be off the market by mid-December. And odds are they hit on one at some point. Like you say, less walks would put him on a par with Guerrier. At just a fraction of the cost!

    • Matt Capps is Mariano Rivera compared to Mike MacDougal. Yes, he sometimes doesn’t look pretty doing it but he gets the job done. There are a few things involved with being a closer. You have to be a good pitcher, you have to have guts to face the 9th inning of a close ballgame and, most importantly, you need the opportunity. Matt Capps did have a terrible season in 2009 with a 5.80 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP but has averaged 27 saves the past 4 seasons while pitching on predominantly crappy teams! And he saved 42 games last season. The Dodgers seem to have a few guys like MacDougal in Belisario and Troncoso and, like you guys say, Guerrier. They have something that MacDougal doesn’t have….opportunity! At the very worst, ALBQ is very pretty in the summer.

  5. technically speaking he was an all-star in 2003, however he is still mike macdougal.

  6. It looks like the “pity date” for the Dodgers is working out well as Mike has appeared in 50+ games this season with 2 run ERA. Getting hit in the head with a bat by Carlos Beltron in 2001 and loosing feeling for some time in his pitching arm couldn’t have helped his pitching.
    As for his “pretty awesome” middle name “Meiklejohn”, he was named after his Mother’s maiden name, Dottie Meilklejohn. Dottie and Mike’s father, Tommy met at Montgomery Junior College in Takoma Park, Maryland where Tommy was an outstanding pitcher and then was a starting pitcher for Arizona State and upon graduation from AS pitched for the Kansas City A’s farm team.
    I am not a Mike MacDougal family authority but his father, mother and I went to Junior College together and have remained friends over the years. Tommy and I played on the same team in Junior College and we were Junior College champions on the East Coast but our school would not let us participate in the Junior College World series in Grand Junction, Colorado because we would miss a few exams.
    That really sucked!
    Tom Cardaci

  7. […] with Aaron Miles, when MacDougal was given a non-roster invite in January it hardly warranted much attention, since he hadn’t been a useful pitcher for years and he […]

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