2013 Dodgers in Review #38: Shawn Tolleson

December 24, 2013 at 10:27 am | Posted in 2013 in Review, Shawn Tolleson | Leave a comment

90topps_shawntolleson0.00 ERA / 9.05 FIP 0.0 IP 0.00 K/9 18.00 BB/9 (inc.)

2013 in brief: Threw 11 pitches in one April game, then missed the rest of the year due to injury.

2014 status: Shockingly lost to Texas on waivers in November.


I’m still on vacation, so forgive the fact that I’m skipping over Jamey Wright. I wrote about him a few weeks ago, anyway.

Every year when I do these season in review pieces, there’s always one or two guys who had about ten seconds of big league exposure and then force me to try to come up with something interesting to say about them. Along with Drew Butera and Onelki Garcia, that honor goes this year to Shawn Tolleson, who walked each of the two batters he faced on April 12 in Arizona and was never heard from again.

Tolleson didn’t make the team out of spring training after dealing with some minor knee pain and a comebacker off his elbow, so he was in Omaha with the rest of the Isotopes on April 11 when Carlos Quentin assaulted Zack Greinke. He flew to Arizona in time to relieve Clayton Kershaw in the eighth inning the next night, where he entered with the bases loaded… and promptly walked both Martin Prado and Paul Goldschmidt, scoring two. (Both of which went against Kershaw’s ledger, of course.)

The next day, he went on the disabled list with what was thought to be a lower back strain, but two weeks later we learned he’d need to undergo surgery, and it turned out that the back had been sore before he entered the game:

“It was kind of tight all day, and tight when I was warming up. I wasn’t worried about it when I was pitching, I was just trying to throw strikes,” Tolleson said when he was placed on the DL. “But when I came out of the game it just really tightened up on me.”

Tolleson couldn’t sleep that night because of pain in his back, and told trainers the next morning.

He started playing catch in June and got into single games for the rookie league Arizona Dodgers on August 11 and Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on August 14, but injured his left hip during rehab and was shut down for the season.

It’s unfortunate, really, because Tolleson has shown a real ability to miss bats in the minors, but a near equal inability to stay healthy. Maybe that’s why the Dodgers attempted to sneak him through waivers in November, and when it didn’t work, well, none of us quite understood why:

I don’t get it. I really don’t. And since I’m in a coffee shop far from home, perhaps there’s been some good explanation I’ve missed. I sure hope so, because otherwise, the Dodgers just allowed a talented young reliever who piled up strikeouts and grounders get claimed on waivers by Texas for what seems to be no good reason.

With 8 empty roster spots, space isn’t an issue. Yes, they need to add a few minor leaguers today. No, it won’t be 8, and even if it was, Justin Sellers & Javy Guerra exist.

A month later, the 40-man roster is only now about to be full, and we haven’t yet heard a valid explanation. Maybe he really is more seriously injured than we know, but still: Odd.


Next! J.P. Howell finds a home!


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