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Daily Dodger in review: Blake Hawksworth delivers middle ground

Blake-hawksworth_600

BLAKE HAWKSWORTH, 28, reliever

Final 2011 stats: 2-5, 4.08 ERA, 49 games, 1.17 WHIP.

Contract status: Under team control.

The good: Had nice stretches and overall was useful enough as a middle reliever. Appeared in a career-high 49 games, and had personal bests of 7.3 strikeouts and 2.9 walks per nine innings.

Remember, he came in exchange for Ryan Theriot, who was generally a bust and wasn’t going to be brought back anyway after that wondrous signing of Juan Uribe. So any positive contribution was going to be a plus.

Went on the disabled list with a groin strain in the middle of May, which instigated the call-up of Javy Guerra, so I’ll give him some points for that.

The bad: He still had a 2.92 ERA on Aug. 9 when he went through a horrid eight-game stretch (11.88 ERA). Was considered a potential swing man when acquired from the Cardinals for Theriot, but he never did start a game.

He’ll be 29 at the start of next season, so this might be as good as it gets, and that’s OK.

What’s next: He’s out of options and in his final year under team control before becoming eligible for arbitration, so he figures to be back in the bullpen in 2012.

The take: So maybe you didn’t fall madly in love; there was still enough there to keep you interested.

General Manager Ned Colletti has a thing for bringing in journeyman relievers in the off-season, some of whom work out OK (Mike MacDougal) and some of whom who don’t (Lance Cormier). He’ll probably go fishing again this winter, but at least with Hawksworth he has a known arm. And if he stays healthy a full season, may yet have more upside.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo credit: Joe Murphy / Getty Images

 
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