Reviewing 2012: Randy Choate, the lefty specialist

Randy Choate is a career situational left-hander. Devoid of any left-handed pitching out of the bullpen, the Dodgers acquired Choate from the Miami Marlins as part of the Hanley Ramirez trade on July 25.

A journeyman, the Dodgers are Choate’s fifth team in his 12-year big league career.  Although Choate was a reliable lefty out of the pen for the Dodgers down the stretch, he failed to replicate the lights out numbers he had put up over the past year-and-a-half in South Beach.

The Numbers

Overall: 0-0, 3.03 ERA, 38:18 K/BB, 38.2 innings pitched, 1.22 WHIP, 80 games

With Dodgers: 0-0, 4.05 ERA, 11:9 K/BB, 13.1 innings pitched, 1.65 WHIP, 36 games

Choate pitched very effectively for the Dodgers this season.  He had a string of 16 consecutive scoreless appearances between Aug. 6 and Sept. 7.

He then finished the season where he had only one outing which he was scored upon.

Being a lefty-specialist, Choate often came in to face only one or two batters at a time.  After pitching two full innings in his first two appearances with the Dodgers, Choate never pitched a full inning the rest of the year.

Choate’s ERA of 4.05 seems deceptive, he only gave up six earned runs in 36 appearances with the Dodgers.  Choate made the second-most appearances in his career and had his 4th highest innings pitched total.  Choate also had the third most strikeouts in his career.  His 3.03 ERA was the second-best of his career.

Season Highlights

July 25 vs. Cardinals – Choate made his Dodgers debut, entering in the 10th inning of a 2-2 tie and striking out the Matt Carpenter before getting Rafael Furcal to ground out.  Choate pitched an inning in an eventual 3-2 Dodgers win.

Aug. 18 vs. Braves – In a key situation, Choate struck out Jason Heyward in the 7th inning en route to a 6-2 Dodgers win.

Sept. 1 vs. Diamondbacks – Choate got Jason Kubel to ground out to end the 7th inning and help hold an eventual 2-1 Dodgers victory.

Sept. 14 vs. Cardinals – Choate got his career-high 20th hold by getting two outs in the seventh inning holding an eventual 8-5 Dodgers win.

Sept. 26 vs. Padres – After the Padres had scored two runs in the 7th inning, Choate entered the game and struck out Yonder Alonso to end the inning.

What’s Next?

After earning $1.5 million this past season, Randy Choate will be a free agent. GM Ned Colletti has expressed interest in re-signing Choate.  Although Choate is 37 years old, he is one of the premiere situational lefties in the game.

Choate has a 3.31 ERA since 2009.

Additionally, the only other lefties out of the Dodgers’ pen are the promising, but unproven Scott Elbert and Paco Rodriguez.

The Dodgers already have a formidable back end of the bullpen with Brandon League, Kenley Jansen, and Ronald Belisario. Re-signing Randy Choate would give the Dodgers the left-handed compliment to their big-three that they will need.

Staff Writer

Staff Writer features content written by our site editors along with our staff of contributing writers. Thank you for your readership.

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