Brought in to do the LOOGY thing even though there’s little evidence that this is the best way to use him and last year he couldn’t get anyone out no matter how they hit. Sherrill’s career splits are much, much better against lefties (.500 OPS) than righties (.800) but he did his best work when used as a closer.
Sherrill wasn’t drafted out of Austin Peay and wound up spending four and a half years in independent ball before his contract was sold to the Mariners. He made his debut with them in 2004, just a year after joining the organization. He did okay as a utility reliever that year, then spent two seasons as a lefty specialist that didn’t go too well, then had an excellent year in the role in 2007. After that season, he was traded to the Orioles in the disastrous Erik Bedard deal.
Sherrill somehow wound up the Orioles’ closer, and saved 31 games and bad the All-Star team in 2008, even though he wasn’t actually very good, posting a 4.70 ERA. He was great in 2009, with a 2.70 ERA when he was traded to the Dodgers. In LA he was used mostly as a setup man, not exclusively against lefties, and put up an astonishing 0.65 ERA. Nobody’s that good, but Sherrill was a catastrophe in 2010, posting an ERA of 6.69 and being widely bashed. Some criticism has come Joe Torre’s way for not spotting him more against lefties, but I just don’t see it; the stats indicate that Torre was trying to pitch Sherrill mostly against lefties, but even then you’re going to get righies about half the time because of pinch-hitters and how managers arrange their lineups, and righties destroyed him, hitting .427/.516/.707 against him. The Braves signed him as a free agent and will presumably make him the secondary LOOGY.
George Sherrill Statistics