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Daily Dodger in Review: Scott Elbert still on the rise?

December 07, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Scott Elbert could be the Dodgers' only left-handed reliever next season.
Scott Elbert could be the Dodgers' only left-handed reliever next… (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )

It’s the return of the Daily Dodger in Review after a brief lapse during the winter meetings …

SCOTT ELBERT, 27, reliever

Final 2012 stats: 1-1, 2.20 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 8.0 strikeouts and 3.6 walks per nine innings in 32 2/3 innings.

Contract status: Under team control.

The good: Had an ERA of 0.54 at home. Curiously, held right-handed hitters to a .170 batting average. For the first half of the season, was the Dodgers’ only left-handed reliever.

After a mediocre start, had an ERA of 0.83 in his last 26 appearances, allowing only two earned runs. Was credited with nine holds.

The bad: An elbow injury ended his season on Aug. 26. He had what was termed a minor elbow operation – a cleanup – on Sept. 12.

In his first 17 appearances of the season, he had only a 4.91 ERA. And this is just wrong: left-handed batters actually hit .271 against him, 100 points better than right-handed hitters.

What’s next: Expected to be healthy and ready to start spring training.

The take: Of course, he better be, since he once again could be the only left-hander in the bullpen.

Elbert seemed more effective after the Dodgers picked up Randy Choate on July 25 (no earned runs in his last five appearances) and had a fellow left-hander to work with in the bullpen. Now Choate has signed with the Cardinals, so unless the Dodgers pick up another lefty or risk sticking with still-raw Paco Rodriguez, he could have to do the lefty solo routine again.

Elbert wasn’t able to continue at the blistering pace he finished the second half of 2011 with (0.84 ERA), but settled down and became highly reliable. He’s yet to have a full season in the majors, but all signs remain positive that he will continue to grow as a solid left-hander in the bullpen.

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