Before the Long Winter, I was thinking of ways to keep the blog going through the off-season. One of those ideas was to do a “Where Are They Now?” series of former Dodgers players. On my drive home from work, I saw a bro with a flattened brim and immediately thought of the Brim Reaper, George Sherrill for the inaugural post.
George Sherrill began his Major League career with the Seattle Mariners. Sherrill’s first year in the Bigs was not a complete disaster, though he posted a 6.08 K/9 and a 3.42 BB/9. Compounded with a 1.39 WHIP and FIP/xFIP of 4.61/5.13, Sherrill, needless to say, struggled. In 2005, Sherrill improved all around. His K/9 jumped to 11.37 while his BB/9 dropped to 3.32. While his ERA and ERA- increased significantly, 5.21 and 124, respectively, his peripheral stats, FIP and xFIP eventually dropped to acceptable levels as he posted a 3.81 FIP/ 91 FIP- and 2.99 xFIP/ 69 xFIP-. The caveat, however, is that over the course of 2004 and 2005, Sherrill only pitched 42.2 innings.
Sherrill continued to pitch less than 50 innings per season until 2009, when he logged 69.0 IP. He was no longer striking out as many batters as his K/9 dropped to 7.96, well below his career high in 2005. However, he was also walking less batters. With a BB/9 at 3.13, it would be the lowest walk rate of his career up to that point. With an ERA/FIP/xFIP of 1.70/3.21/4.10, and an ERA-/FIP-/xFIP- of 38/74/94, it would seem as if he had finally found his stride.
Brim Reaper Year
2009 would also be the season that the Brim Reaper joined the Dodgers via trade with the Baltimore Orioles. In 27.2 innings of work with the club, Sherrill posted a 7.2 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and would command a respectable 1.084 WHIP. Batters that faced Sherrill hit .192/.273/.263 while he pitched for the Dodgers in 2009. This proved to be enough to earn him a 1 year/ $4.5 million contract with the Dodgers in 2010.
If You’re Going to Suck, Fix Your Damn Hat
Sadly, The Brim Reaper became the Brim Sleeper. In 2010, Sherrill posted the worst numbers of his career. In 36.1 innings pitched, Dodgers fans saw Sherrill’s numbers turn into caked turds. He ended the season with an ERA/FIP/xFIP of 6.69/5.20/5.41, 6.19 K/9, 5.94 BB/9, a mind numbing WHIP of 1.93, and even worse averages against batters: .311/.406/.500. For the first time in his career, Sherrill was below replacement level with a -0.6 WAR. Even in the McCourt years, that was enough for Ned Colletti to say, “Get lost!” On December 2, 2010, the Dodgers decided to part ways with their once dominant setup man and Sherrill became a free agent.
Six days after being released, Sherrill was picked up by the Atlanta Braves. He posted better numbers than the prior season. With an ERA/FIP/xFIP of 3.00/3.08/3.08, 1.25 WHIP, 9.5 K/9, and 3.0 BB/9, Sherrill was slightly better than replacement level with a 0.4 WAR. However, with only 36 innings pitched over the course of 2011, it’s difficult to say if he had returned to form. 2012 would have been the season to prove the naysayers wrong, unfortunately for Sherrill, that would not be the case. After agreeing to a one year contract with Seattle, Sherrill only saw 1.1 innings of action with his former team before going on the 15-day DL. Sherrill’s season eventually ended after undergoing Tommy John surgery. George Sherrill has not returned to The Show since. He agreed to a minor league contract with the Royals for the 2013 season but was released midway through 2013 by the Kansas City affiliate Triple-A club. To date, there has been no news of any team picking up George Sherrill.