Sean Doolittle
Sean Doolittle
34-Year-Old PitcherRP
Cincinnati Reds
2021 Fantasy Outlook
After considering opting out of the 2020 season largely because his wife experiences respiratory issues, Doolittle decided to suit up. The lefty started out slowly, posting a 15.00 ERA and 3.00 WHIP in five outings spanning just three frames before landing on the IL on Aug. 10 with knee fatigue. Doolittle returned Aug. 30 and hurled 4.2 scoreless innings over six appearances before being sidelined for the rest of the year with an oblique strain. Doolittle's contract with Washington expired at the end of the season. Despite showing declining skills in 2019 and coming off an injury-filled and ineffective 2020 campaign, the 34-year-old veteran was able to get $1.5 million from the Reds. Saves speculation is more important than ever, but there are better options in the Cincinnati bullpen and better stash candidates in fantasy than Doolittle. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#567
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Reds in February of 2021.
Tough recent outings
PCincinnati Reds
June 12, 2021
Doolittle has allowed at least one run in his last three outings, including giving up homers in his last two appearances.
ANALYSIS
With Tejay Antone on the IL, there's a short-term opportunity for Doolittle to take on a more prominent role in the Reds' bullpen, but it doesn't appear that he's capable of filling it. Doolittle has allowed five homers and 11 walks in his 21.2 innings pitched, negating the impact of his 29 strikeouts. He currently sits with a 4.98 ERA and 1.57 WHIP.
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Pitching Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
15
Last 10 Games
17
Last 5 Games
16
How many pitches does Sean Doolittle generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Sean Doolittle generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-23%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-23%
BAA vs LHP
2020
 
 
-43%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-21%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2019vs Left .226 144 47 8 30 5 4 5
Since 2019vs Right .292 254 54 22 66 12 0 14
2021vs Left .238 48 19 5 10 1 1 2
2021vs Right .311 54 10 6 14 5 0 3
2020vs Left .214 16 5 1 3 1 0 1
2020vs Right .375 20 1 3 6 0 0 2
2019vs Left .221 80 23 2 17 3 3 2
2019vs Right .279 180 43 13 46 7 0 9
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-3%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-34%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-81%
ERA on Road
2019
 
 
-11%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2019Home 4.33 1.52 52.0 7 3 15 10.0 3.3 2.3
Since 2019Away 4.46 1.23 38.1 2 4 15 10.1 2.6 1.4
2021Home 3.95 1.54 13.2 2 0 0 11.2 5.3 1.3
2021Away 6.00 1.56 9.0 1 0 1 12.0 3.0 3.0
2020Home 10.80 2.40 3.1 0 1 0 10.8 5.4 5.4
2020Away 2.08 1.15 4.1 0 1 0 4.2 4.2 2.1
2019Home 3.86 1.43 35.0 5 2 15 9.5 2.3 2.3
2019Away 4.32 1.12 25.0 1 3 14 10.4 2.2 0.7
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Sean Doolittle compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 30 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.64
 
K/9
11.5
 
BB/9
4.4
 
HR/9
2.0
 
Fastball
92.8 mph
 
ERA
4.76
 
WHIP
1.54
 
BABIP
.352
 
GB/FB
0.28
 
Left On Base
82.1%
 
Exit Velocity
82.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
4.2%
 
Spin Rate
2281 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
22.2%
 
Swinging Strike
12.1%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Sean Doolittle
Mound Musings: Checking in on NL Bullpens
18 days ago
Brad Johnson dives into closer assignments in the NL to see what changes could be on the horizon, including in Philadelphia where Hector Neris is the primary closer, but storm clouds are brewing.
Mound Musings: The Slider – A Classic Love/Hate Relationship
39 days ago
Brad Johnson breaks down the mechanics of sliders and discusses slider-heavy pitchers, like Kenta Maeda, who are struggling so far this season.
Week 6 FAAB Recap
Week 6 FAAB Recap
42 days ago
42 days ago
Shane McClanahan was the big prize free agent in a number of leagues this week.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
43 days ago
Jan Levine looks at a few position battles, including the Reds' closer situation.
Mound Musings: Something Called “Rhythm”
46 days ago
Brad Johnson goes into depth about pitching rhythm and examines elite pitchers who either have it or are still looking to achieve it.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2010
While Doolittle was instrumental in the Nationals' well-documented turnaround, he ceded the closer job to Daniel Hudson come playoff time. Effective early, Doolittle notched three wins and three saves in 13.1 innings by April 30, with a 1.35 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Doolittle cruised through late July before the wheels came off. From July 29 on, Doolittle registered a 7.35 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 17 innings, and made a trip to the IL with knee soreness. During his absence, Hudson took over closing duties. The two shared the role in September before Hudson claimed it outright. Doolittle's fastball sat around 93.4 mph all season, so fatigue doesn't appear to be a factor for his slide despite him working 60 frames after averaging 45.1 a year the three previous campaigns. Hudson returned and the team also signed Will Harris, so Doolittle's leash will be short. With durability and performance issues, he's at best a second closer in mixed formats.
The Nationals picked up Doolittle's bargain $6 million club option in October. While he added another chapter to his extensive injury history with a foot injury that sidelined him for two months, Doolittle performed well when on the field, going 25-for-26 in save chances. He earned another All-Star berth and settled the team's nerves with a 2.35 ERA in September following his activation from the disabled list. The 32-year-old hasn't walked more than 1.9 batters per nine in a season since 2015, has struck out fewer than 9.9 per nine once and over the past three years, owns a 15.9% swinging-strike rate and a 70.3% first-strike rate which ranks third among all relievers. As long as the draft-day cost comes with some missed time baked in, this should be worthwhile investment as these skills are close to elite and nobody in the Washington bullpen represents a major threat to his role (not even Trevor Rosenthal).
Doolittle logged his highest innings count since 2014, despite a shoulder strain in the first half that put him on the disabled list for a five-week stretch in the first half. Fortunately, there was no structural damage in his arm, and he held up once he was activated, showing the top-end skills necessary to be a very effective late-inning reliever again. The Nats acquired him along with Ryan Madson at the non-waiver trade deadline in July, and Doolittle went on to finish 21-for-22 in save opportunities while helping to fortify a major weakness on the roster. Doolittle operates with three pitches, but he leans very heavily on his fastball, which typically sits between 94-96 mph and is often located effectively around the top of the strike zone where hitters simply can't catch up to it. Look for him to open 2018 as the preferred ninth-inning option in Washington, where he could prove to be a steady mid-tier closer again.
More shoulder issues limited Doolittle's season -- sound familiar? He hasn't topped 40 innings in the last two years, and his rust probably contributed to him allowing a career-worst 1.38 home runs per nine innings. Of course, Doolittle showed a lot of positives. Doolittle continued whiffing batters to boost his career K/9 to 10.4, and his walk rate finished at 2.1 or lower for the fourth time in five years. He's had at least one save in every season, which makes him one of the better speculative relievers after all closers are off the board. The situation is no different this year with the A's, who has Ryan Madson and an erratic cast of characters behind him, none of whom would stand in the way of a healthy Doolittle. He owns the best skills in this bullpen, and if Doolittle stays healthy, he could match or top the 22 saves he collected in 2014.
After an All-Star season in 2014 that saw Doolittle claim the A's closer job while amassing 22 saves to go along with a 12.8 K/9, an offseason shoulder injury cost Doolittle nearly all of the 2015 season. Doolittle had a slight tear in the rotator cuff of his left shoulder and was able to return in May, but it was for only one appearance (where he was topping out at 89 mph) and he returned to the DL until late August. He had a 3.95 ERA in his 13.2 innings and managed to strike out more than a batter per inning, but he never looked like quite the same pitcher and his average fastball velocity dropped from 94.0 mph in 2015 to 92.4 in 2015. His swinging-strike rate fell to a career-low 9.8%, but it was in a short number of innings and the A's were just hoping he was able to get on the mound and show some health in that stretch. If healthy at the outset of spring training, Doolittle should resume his role as the A's closer.
After Jim Johnson imploded in the closer role, Doolittle finally took the reins and was exceptional, racking up 22 saves even though he didn't get the job until mid-May. He also lost time to a DL stint, missing three weeks late in the season. Once he was the closer, aside from a hiccup in late June where he had back-to-back blown saves, he had only one blown save. The most amazing aspect of Doolittle's season has to be the ridiculous 89:9 K:BB ratio he finished the season with. He will miss the start of the year with a slight rotator cuff tear, opening the door for Tyler Clippard to slot in as the A's closer. However, with a career ERA under 3.00 and career 10.5 K/9 (even higher in 2014 at 12.8 K/9), there little reason why he can't reclaim the job and once again flourish in the ninth-inning role.
Doolittle's impressive transformation from first baseman to reliever continued in 2013 as he managed an ERA approaching 3.00 and a WHIP under 1.00. His strikeout rate dropped from an incredible 11.4 K/9 in 2012 to 7.8 K/9 in 2013, but he also dropped his walk rate and carried a lower H/9 as he learned how to pitch more efficiently in his second season with the A's. Perhaps Doolittle's most impressive stat was that he led the American League in only allowing 6.3 percent of inherited runners to score. The acquisition of Jim Johnson likely prevents Doolittle from getting the first crack at the ninth inning in 2014, but he has a chance to end up saving games for the A's if the team is comfortable removing him from the mix in the seventh and eighth inning. Further, Doolittle has actually been more effective against righties in his first two years, so the A's may decide they are comfortable with him as a closer at some point in the not-so-distant future.
Doolittle was one of the most incredible, yet unsung stories in baseball last year. After operations on both knees and a tendon injury in his right wrist, Doolittle converted from playing first base to become a relief pitcher. After a grand total of 17 appearances across three minor league levels (where he sported a minuscule ERA), Doolittle was called up and ended the season as the lefty reliever that manager Bob Melvin called on late in games. He does not attempt to fool anyone and relies almost solely on the gas (he threw 86.8 percent fastballs in 2012), but still had an exceptional 11.4 K/9. Doolittle figures to be very busy for the A's in the seventh and eighth inning of games, but he will not have much fantasy value in most leagues due to a lack of saves.
Doolittle lived up to his last name again, this year missing the entire season due to wrist injuries after missing the prior two seasons with a knee injury. The A's have given up on him as a hitter, deciding to return him to the mound (he pitched during his college days at Virginia) for one inning in the Arizona Rookie League. They thought enough of him to keep him on the 40-man roster this winter, though there's no telling how his return to the mound will play out.
A knee injury cut short Doolittle's season at Triple-A Sacramento after just 28 games. The A's are trying him in the outfield, likely as a result of Chris Carter's emergence at first base, and while Doolittle hasn't been terrible (.267/.364/.448) he hasn't done a ton to distinguish himself from a typical decent hitting prospect. He doesn't figure to be in the A's plans in 2010, and doesn't project as much more than a reserve player.
More Fantasy News
Earns third win
PCincinnati Reds
May 16, 2021
Doolittle (3-0) allowed a hit and struck out two over one scoreless inning to earn the win Sunday versus Colorado.
ANALYSIS
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Struggling against righties
PCincinnati Reds
May 4, 2021
Doolittle gave up the go-ahead hit Saturday and a game-tying hit Sunday against the Cubs' Nico Hoerner, and overall, right-handers are 8-for-21 with three doubles, a homer and an 1.148 OPS against him, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
ANALYSIS
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Closes out Dodgers
PCincinnati Reds
April 28, 2021
Doolittle did not allow a baserunner and struck out one during a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save Tuesday against the Dodgers.
ANALYSIS
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Dominant outing
PCincinnati Reds
April 5, 2021
Doolittle earned the win Monday night against the Pirates after throwing a clean seventh inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced.
ANALYSIS
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Not completely out of closer mix
PCincinnati Reds
March 27, 2021
Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson said Doolittle may also be considered a closer alongside Amir Garrett and Lucas Sims to start the year, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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