Acquired: Signed as free agent (December 13, 2010).
Contract: One year through 2011 (eligible for arbitration after 2011).
Position: Fifth starter; Mr. Glass II.
2011 Projected ERA: 3.65
2010 Season: In a year in which Texas won the American League pennant; Brandon McCarthy didn't pitch for the Rangers even once during the regular season or playoffs. He posted an 8.03 ERA in four Spring Training starts and found himself at AAA-Oklahoma City when April arrived. After four starts, he landed on the disabled list with a right scapula stress reaction. After missing a month, McCarthy returned to the mound on June 3rd. He pitched two innings before returning to the DL with inflammation in his right shoulder. On June 19, in his first start back, McCarthy pitched two innings...before visiting the DL again on June 22 with more shoulder inflammation. With a mastery of the disabled list that hadn't been seen in a Generation, McCarthy was recalled by the Rangers on July 29...and immediately placed on the 60-day DL! (OK, so Texas made the move to open a spot on their 40-man roster. I won't let the facts get in the way of a historically disabled season.)
2011 Over/Under: McCarthy is an extreme fly ball pitcher who, it's believed, can only be helped by Oakland's hitter-unfriendly ballpark. He's also suffered an almost comical list of serious injuries over the course of his career. In 2009, he suffered a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade...twice. In 2008, he didn't make his first appearance until late August after being sidelined with forearm inflammation. Three weeks later, his season ended with a strained flexor tendon in his middle finger. In 2007, he missed nearly a month with blisters on his pitching hand and then...a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade. Take the OVER on that projection (assuming it's ERA and not games started).
By the Numbers: 49 – Prior to the 2005 season, Baseball America named McCarthy the 49th best prospect in all of baseball -- well ahead of Cole Hamels (71), Ubaldo Jimenez (82), Jonathan Papelbon (91) and Huston Street (97) -- and anointed him the starting pitcher on their Minor League All-Star first team. "Generation K"? McCarthy's practically K-Pac!
Surefire 2011 Prediction: The most starts McCarthy has made in a Major League season is 22 (with Texas in 2007). He won't make 22 starts with Oakland in 2011. He just...won't.
Old School Rap Track for the Season: Survival of the Fittest, Mobb Deep