Â Â Octavio Dotel : Return to dominance?
Itâ€™s early but Dotel is showing some nice signs of life out of the Royals camp early this season. In 6 IP heâ€™s given up only 2 hits, 1 walk and has 10 strikeouts. I donâ€™t think Octavioâ€™s stuff has ever been questioned; itâ€™s his durability that will scare some away.
In his past seasons in Houston, Dotel was nearly unhittable and probably one of the top relief pitchers in the game, although as a set-up man. In 2001 Dotel had a 2.66 ERA in 105 IP. Guess how many he struck out? 145. 145 in 105 IP! Just nasty. He followed that up with a 1.85 ERA in 2002 and 118 K in 97.1 IP. 2003 brought more of the same, with a 2.48 ERA and 97 K in 87 IP. But after that season he was moved into primarily a closerâ€™s role and struggled (by Octavioâ€™s standard anyways (era above 3.50).
With less pressure in Kansas City, and hopefully the return of good health, I could see 35+ saves and well over a K per IP. Heâ€™s only thrown 25.1 IP in the past two seasons though, so nothing is etched into stone at this point. Health is the key here, but so far this spring heâ€™s been dynamite.