Dodgers: Andrew Heaney In Fernando Valenzuela Territory Through First 6 Starts
Dodgers starter Andrew Heaney has been on the injured list frequently this season, but when the journeyman lefty is available, he’s been lights out. Correction, not just lights out, nearly untouchable. Historically untouchable.
Through his first six starts this year, he owns a microscopic 0.64 ERA in 28 IP. That has Heaney in some elite company in Dodgers history. Alongside the legendary Fernando Valenzuela.
Andrew Heaney has a 0.64 ERA in 6 starts in a @Dodgers uniform.
That's the lowest ERA by any pitcher over his first 6 starts with any MLB team (min. 25 IP) since Fernando Valenzuela had a 0.33 ERA over his first 6 starts with the Dodgers in 1981.
— OptaSTATS (@OptaSTATS) August 7, 2022
It’s not often that a Dodgers pitcher, any pitcher, sniffs Fernandomania numbers.
Granted, Heaney probably won’t be able to sustain his absurd 646 ERA+ moving forward, but it speaks to just how good he’s been when available.
The Dodgers have two off days this week and will likely deploy rookie Ryan Pepiot to cover Clayton Kershaw’s starts while he recovers from a back injury he suffered during Thursday’s game against the Giants. That being said, Heaney staying healthy, and continuing to log quality innings will be key to the Dodgers pitching staff in the coming weeks.
His 2.33 FIP, compared to his 0.64 ERA, points to some luck involved in his first season with the Dodgers. Unlike last season where he owned a sky-high 2.01 HR/9 mark, the veteran lefty has kept the ball in the yard in 2022 (0.32 HR/9). His 3.6% home run-to-fly ball rate is likely due to some regression to the mean (his career average is 15.4%).
On the other hand, the Dodgers coaching staff has been known to work wonders before and Heaney might just be the latest starter castoff to thrive in LA.
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