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Looking at Scott Dohmann

One of the more pleasant surprises for the Rays last season was the performance of Scott Dohmann, likely the least popular player acquired during the off-season, many questioned the usage of a 40-man roster spot on the 29 year old with a career ERA well over 5. In fact the common terminology uttered when Dohmann's name popped up became "D'oh!" 31 appearances for the team later that sound byte became the theme for a Dohmann strikeout. Shockingly Dohmann posted a career low ERA and a VORP of 8.7; third highest amongst pitchers behind Scott Kazmir and James Shields.

As is my job around these parts I examined his numbers looking for something that would signify that the Dohmannator was a fluke and sooner than later he'd hit reality - perhaps reality would hit him - and poof there goes that dream. Dohmann's numbers do scream fluke unfortunately:

Looking above at his major league career averages we must note that he struck out an all-time low per nine, walked the second lowest, allowed the fewest homeruns, had the lowest batting average against and average of balls in play, stranded the most base runners, and had the lowest FIP.

More stats above; his highest line drive rate, highest expected BABIP, lowest actual BABIP, second highest groundball rate, lowest flyball rate, and entered the game with medium leverage against him while throwing the second least amount of strikes.

With all of that said, let's examine exactly what happened last year: he didn't use his control to his complete advantage, got hit harder than before but seemingly got lucky by not allowing nearly as many hits as expected while allowing less homeruns and flyballs in general.

Frankly looking at his numbers I'm not sure what to make of him, I can't decide whether this was the new standard for Dohmann - who didn't allow an earned run at Tropicana Field last year - or simply a big ruse; so I decided to look at a more friendly hitter's environment to see how he fared - let's look at his Durham numbers:

He was even more dominant in Durham, but it resulted in the same BABIP, meaning he was unlucky with balls hit into play. He allowed a bit less than a hit per inning in Tampa, but actually did better when he had runners on with his .627 OPS with runners in scoring position, .640 with men on, and .858 with the bases empty.

I'm not sure if we can say he loves the pressure up, but rather that he's a ticking time bomb that could either explode next year often, or continue this abstract style and surprise us all again. As for his chances of actually making the bullpen, really it depends on what the team does, but for the moment being I'd set it around 75%.