Sean Doolittle

Sean Doolittle

37-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2024 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Sean Doolittle in 2024. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with the Nationals in November of 2022. Contract is worth $1.5 million at MLB level and includes an additional $100,000 for every six, 10, 14 games pitched, and $150,000 for every 18, 22, 26, and 30 games pitched.
Hangs up cleats
PFree Agent  
September 22, 2023
Doolittle announced his retirement from baseball Friday.
ANALYSIS
Doolittle didn't pitch much the last two seasons due to elbow surgery and more recently a knee injury. The soon-to-be 37-year-old is closing the book on what has been a fine career, though, as he finishes with a 3.20 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 522:103 K:BB over 450.2 relief innings across parts of 11 major-league seasons. Doolittle recorded 112 saves, made two All-Star teams and won a World Series with the Nationals in 2019.
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Pitching Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2022 MLB Game Log
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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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2017 MLB Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2021
 
 
-21%
BAA vs LHP
2023
No Stats
2022
 
 
-100%
BAA vs RHP
2021
 
 
-23%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2021vs Left .212 108 33 7 21 6 2 2
Since 2021vs Right .268 132 26 16 30 8 0 5
2023vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2022vs Left .111 9 3 0 1 1 0 0
2022vs Right .000 8 3 0 0 0 0 0
2021vs Left .222 99 30 7 20 5 2 2
2021vs Right .288 124 23 16 30 8 0 5
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2021
 
 
-64%
ERA at Home
2023
No Stats
2022
No Stats
2021
 
 
-66%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2021Home 2.30 1.12 31.1 2 1 0 10.3 3.7 0.6
Since 2021Away 6.46 1.65 23.2 1 0 1 8.7 3.8 1.9
2023Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2022Home 0.00 0.38 2.2 0 0 0 10.1 0.0 0.0
2022Away 0.00 0.00 2.2 0 0 0 10.1 0.0 0.0
2021Home 2.51 1.19 28.2 2 1 0 10.4 4.1 0.6
2021Away 7.29 1.86 21.0 1 0 1 8.6 4.3 2.1
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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 See More
Closer Encounters: The Importance of a Good Bullpen
245 days ago
Ryan Rufe looks at the behavior of contenders in the reliever trade market in recent seasons and predicts who might get moved this year.
Collette Calls: Packing Their Bags?
250 days ago
Jason Collette discusses the pitchers who could be on the move at the deadline should their clubs choose to sell, including potentially Corbin Burnes.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
270 days ago
Jan Levine latest rundown includes a few players who are set to return from injury.
Mound Musings: Bullpens With Unanswered Questions
336 days ago
Brad Johnson reviews bullpens with potential question marks as we dive into the 2023 season starting with the Mets, who are scrambling after the likely season-long loss of Edwin Diaz.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
340 days ago
Jan Levine kicks off the column for 2023 and examines all the NL positional battles.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2010
Doolittle started off the 2022 season in vintage form, yielding just one baserunner while fanning six over 5.1 scoreless frames across his first six appearances. Unfortunately, the veteran southpaw hurt his elbow in that last appearance and eventually underwent a season-ending internal brace procedure. The recovery from the relatively-new operation has been swift, with Doolittle entering spring training without restrictions. Now 36, Doolittle should be a lock for a roster spot if healthy and could even earn some high-leverage situations as part of a largely-unproven bullpen. It's been a few years since Doolittle was healthy and effective, though, so fantasy managers don't need to pay much attention to him at this juncture.
Doolittle split the 2021 campaign between the Reds and Mariners, and it was an up-and down season with a 4.53 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 53:23 K:BB over 49.2 innings. He had only one save and five holds and is now back with the Nationals for 2022. Doolittle could be in the mix for saves given Washington is without as established closer, but he'll need to significantly improve upon the .900 OPS allowed to right-handed batters last season to have a chance of being a high-leverage option for manager Dave Martinez.
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.
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
Diagnosed with knee strain
PWashington Nationals  
Knee
June 30, 2023
Doolittle has been diagnosed with a patellar tendon strain in his right knee, Bobby Blanco of MASNSports.com reports.
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Placed on minor-league IL
PWashington Nationals  
Undisclosed
June 28, 2023
Doolittle (elbow) was placed on the 7-day injured list Wednesday at Triple-A Rochester, Bobby Blanco of MASNSports.com reports.
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Moving up to Triple-A
PWashington Nationals  
June 15, 2023
Doolittle (elbow) has been transferred from Double-A Harrisburg to Triple-A Rochester, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
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Activated off minor-league IL
PWashington Nationals  
June 6, 2023
Triple-A Rochester reinstated Doolittle (elbow) from its 7-day injured list Tuesday and assigned him to Double-A Harrisburg, Bobby Blanco of MASNSports.com reports.
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Working back-to-back days
PWashington Nationals  
Elbow
June 2, 2023
Doolittle (elbow) is scheduled to pitch Friday at Low-A Fredericksburg, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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