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Daily Dodger in review: Ramon Troncoso and the lost season

November 6, 2010 |  7:43 pm

RAMON TRANCOSO, 27, relief pitcher

Final 2010 stats: 2-3, 4.33 ERA, no saves, 34 strikeouts, 18 walks and a 1.32 WHIP in 54 innings

Contract status: Under club control

The good: Well, he started well. And he finished pretty well, at least compared with that stuff in between. He began the season looking a lot like the right-hander who had sported a 2.72 ERA and saved six games. Maybe even better. In his first six appearances, he had a 1.59 ERA. In his last eight games, he had a 1.93 ERA.

The bad: Alas, in between that start and finish, he owned a 5.31 ERA. He barely looked familiar. By July 3, the Dodgers had seen enough and sent him back to triple A. He was recalled a month later, made two appearances and was sent down again. He finally returned for good on Aug. 30, not that he seemed to have turned anything around at Albuquerque (0-2, 5.73 ERA). For most of the season, he was completely unreliable.

What’s next: He’s going to have to prove himself again. The Dodgers can’t just cross their fingers on him and Ronald Belisario. General Manager Ned Colletti has already said he’s looking for relief help this winter.

Troncoso turns 28 on Feb. 18, so it’s not like there’s all this time on his side. At this point, having a new manager can’t hurt his cause. The Dodgers need the Troncoso of 2009.

The take: What happened to this guy? A favorite refrain is Joe Torre used him too much early in the season (15 appearances in a 21-game stretch). Maybe, but he only pitched 13 innings in those 15 games. He probably could have used a few more days off in there, but it’s not like he was racking up the innings.

Still, he was never the same the rest of the season, or at least not until the final month. His fairly strong finish provides reasons to hope he’s figured out any mechanical troubles and can build on that going into spring. If he doesn’t, nothing is guaranteed for Troncoso.

-- Steve Dilbeck