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Daily Dodger in review: Jeff Weaver provides only half of a good season

JEFF WEAVER, 34, relief pitcher

Final 2010 stats: 5-1, 6.09 ERA, no saves, 26 strikeouts, 20 walks, 1.53 WHIP in 44 1/3 innings.

Contract status: Free agent.

The good: Well, he did go 5-1. Had a 3.54 ERA before the All-Star break. Appeared in a career-high 43 games, not starting a game for the first time in his career. Pitched in nine of the first 14 games before going on the disabled list with a lower back strain. Allowed only six of 29 inherited runners to score (20.7%).

The bad: Had a 10.47 ERA after the All-Star break. His strikeouts per nine innings pitched went from 7.29 in 2009 to 5.28 last season. Went on the DL for a second time with knee tendinitis at the end of September and sported a 15.43 ERA in four September games upon his return.

What’s next: After a fairly solid 2009, he earned only a non-roster invite to camp last year. Again a free agent, that’s probably the best he could hope for next spring.

The take: Weaver said he’d like to pitch one more season. You don’t lose anything by inviting him to camp, but General Manager Ned Colletti knows he has to improve his bullpen and there figures to be some additions before spring training. Hopefully, fairly significant ones.

Weaver has been given up on plenty of times before and bounced back, so I’d be leery of writing him off. The bullpen needs an upgrade, and he’s a long ways from a lock, but it figures to be worth a non-roster invite to see if injuries were what brought him down so badly in last season's second half.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Comments () | Archives (9)

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just when I think the Dodgers have shown Jeff Weaver the door for the final time...
they pull him back in!

Uncle Joe melted him.

why is it we get worse of the 2 Weavers...ugh

I don't think so, it's time to give someone else a chance. Weaver looks like he's seen better days.

There are several things Colletti has to do to improve the club. Improving the bullpen isn't the most important one. I say invite Weaver to spring training and see what happens. He was very effective before the break, so who knows? As you said, maybe the injuries affected his pitching. He's a competitor and he gives you innings.

There's a super-simple answer for guys that have a great first half: Sign them to four month deals.

You think I'm kidding?

Weaver deserves a shot to make the team. They shouldn't count on him as one of the top five guys, but as a spot starter and/or a one-month replacement for an injured starter. The Weaver brothers are homegrown baseball talent. They have shown hot and cold streaks. They're a gamble. Double down.

Barring an injury, a more efficient use of the pen by the manager, may help extend the effectiveness of a war horse like Weaver much longer into the season. I like Jeff and what he has brought to the team over the past several seasons. I would love to see him back for another run next year.

Every team needs a guy in the bullpen who can come in in key situations and get just one big strikeout when you need it. That's not Jeff Weaver. Never was. Weaver is your long relief guy. Flexible, adaptable, can give you 3 or 4 innings and restore order when your starter blows up early. But you don't expect him to be Koufax or Drysdale. And the reason he didn't fill in with spot starts last year was probably Carlos Monasterios. Weaver's been pretty successful in this difficult role in the past -- I'd like to see if he can rehab his bad back and make it work again next season. As Steve pointed out, not much to lose in the attempt.


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