Daily Dodger in review: The incomplete book of John Ely
Final 2011 stats: 0-1, 4.26 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 13 strikeouts and seven walks in 12 2/3 innings.
Contract status: Under team control.
The good: Did not allow a run in his final three appearances, all in relief. Though he’ll never be considered an overpowering pitcher, he did strike out 13 in his 12 2/3 innings.
The bad: It wasn’t that he was terrible, as much as forgettable. Not that the Dodgers really used him enough to know if he’d made any progress over his rookie season. But at triple-A Albuquerque, his numbers weren’t any better (7-8, 5.99 ERA, 1.54 WHIP). You can try to write that off as largely a product of the rarefied Albuquerque air, but he did well enough there last year to get his call-up. And Dana Eveland was 12-8 with a 4.38 ERA at Albuquerque.
What’s next: The Dodgers will hang on to him, albeit with another trip back to Albuquerque. He got one early-season, emergency start in April and was exclusively a starter at Albuquerque but they may have to consider him as a reliever.
The take: The Book of Ely will always refer back to his unexpected and fairly stunning appearance on the scene in 2010. That’s when the Dodgers were dying for a fifth starter, called him up and were the most surprised people in town when he used sharp control to go 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA in a six-game stretch.
He didn’t do enough to rekindle the faith last season in the minors, and really got too small a look on the big club to draw any insightful conclusions. He’s still young enough that the Dodgers aren’t going to give up on him. Control is his key, though you have to wonder how well he can completely master it pitching in Albuquerque.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers starter John Ely. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times