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2023 Diamondbacks Reviews: #30 Scott McGough

A tale of two halves for McGough in his first year back from Japan. Scott started hot but struggled to end the year, ultimately a shoulder injury ended his season in September.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Overview

  • Rating: 4.89
  • 2023 stats: 63 G, 70.1 IP, 4.73 ERA, 4.76 FIP, 1.280 WHIP, 2.87 SO/BB, 92 ERA+
  • Date of birth: October 31st, 1989 (34 years old)

2023 earnings: $3,000,00 (via Spotrac) ($750,000 buyout for 2025)

  • 2024 status: 26-man roster

Introduction & 2023 review

Scott McGough’s MLB journey was a long and winding one. Drafted in 2011 out of the University of Oregon, Scott found himself on 4 different teams as he made his way through the minor leagues. Starting with the Dodgers, he was traded to Miami, selected off waivers by the Orioles, then signed a minor-league deal with the Rockies all while showing decent stuff throughout all his stops. His lone MLB appearance came with the Marlins in 2015, but he struggled and ultimately found a spot in Japan, pitching to a 2.94 ERA in the Nippon Professional Baseball League across 4 seasons. That performance drew the attention of the D-backs as they signed him to a 2-year, $6.25 million deal, and was expected to fill an important role on a budding team.

Scott struggled in April and was up-and-down in May, but ultimately became the most trusted pitcher in bullpen in June as Torey anointed him the closer in June and he responded with 7 saves, 11.1 K/9, and a 2.72 ERA at the All-Star break. But unfortunately for him and the team, his performance dipped just as the team started to struggle.

He struggled with the home run ball the rest of the way, allowing 9 homers in 23 second-half games and an ERA of 8.63, limiting McGough to mop-up duty as the season winded down. In the middle of September, Scott suffered shoulder inflammation and he never made another appearance, as he stayed on the 15-day IL until the playoffs concluded. He was removed from the injured list in early November and is healthy going into 2024.

2024 outlook

Coming into a healthy 2024, Scott will look to replicate his early season performance and establish himself as another option for Lovullo on a team that leaned on its bullpen all the way to the World Series. His contract is guaranteed at 3 million but with bullpen arms always in need around the MLB and a high strikeout rate despite the struggles, you’ll see McGough pitching in the big leagues in 2024. Whether that’s for the D-backs or another team remains to be seen.