SEATTLE - JUNE 25: Relief pitcher Jamey Wright #50 of the Seattle Mariners pitches in a 4-2 loss against the Florida Marlins at Safeco Field on June 25, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Jamey Wright was picked 28th overall in the 1993 draft, the second-ever first round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies. After 11 years almost exclusively as a starter in the big leagues, 2007 marked a transition into the bullpen for Wright, who has found a home in relief ever since.
Since the start of the 2008 season, Wright is one of just five pitchers with at least 200 innings pitched and a ground ball rate of at least 60% of his balls in play:
|Highest MLB Ground Ball Rates 2008-2011|
|Pitcher||Innings Pitched||Ground Ball Rate|
|Minimum 200 IP; source: FanGraphs|
Wright has also been durable since joining the bullpen, tied for Matt Guerrier for the third most relief innings in baseball from 2008-2011. What a difference five years of age and outperforming ones peripherals make, as Wright (4.25 ERA, 4.35 FIP, 4.25 xFIP during the last four years) is on his second consecutive minor league contract while Guerrier (3.23 ERA, 4.38 FIP, 4.25 xFIP from 2007-2010) cashed in to the tune of three years and $12 million last year.
Wright allowed 13 unearned runs in 2009, setting a Royals record for a reliever, the highest number of unearned runs allowed by a major league reliever since Tony Castillo allowed 14 for the Chicago White Sox in 1997.
Jamey Wright signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to big league camp in spring training, with a reported out clause at some point in March per Tony Jackson of ESPN LA, meaning of Wright isn't added to the active roster by the specified date in his contract he can opt to become a free agent.
|2012 Projections - Age 37 Season|
Of all the non-roster invitees in Dodgers camp, I think Wright has as good a shot at anybody of making the opening day roster. There is currently one spot open the bullpen, and Wright would need to beat Blake Hawksworth (out of options), Josh Lindblom (has options), and someone like John Grabow if they decide to add a second left-handed reliever. I think Wright finds his way onto the opening day roster and puts up a 4.17 ERA in 41 innings, with 19 walks and 29 strikeouts.
What's your prediction for Wright? Give us your prediction for ERA, WHIP, and innings pitched in the comments, and feel free to add strikeouts or any other predictions you have as well.