Jamey Wright pitched on a guaranteed deal with the Dodgers in 2014 after eight straight seasons making a team out of spring training as a non-roster invitee. Here is a look back at his 2014 campaign.
What went right
Wright pitched in a variety of roles in the Dodgers bullpen in 2014, from long man to middle relief to occasional setup man. Wright had 10 relief appearances with two or more innings, leading the team, and even pitched in four games in the seventh or eighth innings in potential save situations.
Through June, Wright had a 2.11 ERA in 31 games, with 23 strikeouts and 13 walks in 38⅓ innings, holding batters to a 17-percent line drive rate and hitting .212/.281/.277.
The Dodgers for the most part had one left-handed reliever for the vast majority of the first five months of the season in J.P. Howell, but manager Don Mattingly often praised the right-handed Wright for having the repertoire to get left-handed batters out, and in 2014 that was indeed the case. Lefties hit .238/.317/.303 against Wright, who had a higher strikeout rate (20.5 percent) against lefties than right-handed batters (15 percent).
Wright protected a 10-run lead on May 31 against the Pirates, pitching three scoreless innings for the Dodgers' first three-inning save since 2009.
After seeing his ground ball rate drop to 50.3 percent in 2013 in Tampa Bay, Wright got it back up to 56.3 percent with the Dodgers in 2014, more in line with the 58.8-percent rate during his eight years as a relief pitcher.
What went wrong
Over the final three months of the season Wright had a 7.03 ERA in 30 games, allowing 25 runs on 43 hits in 32 innings, with 31 strikeouts and 14 walks. Opposing batters over those final three months hit .333/.403/.411, with a 27-percent line drive rate.
Wright batted six times for the Dodgers in 2014, two more plate appearances than he had in the previous seven years combined. He was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and a sacrifice hit.
Wright made the Dodgers postseason roster, his second consecutive playoff berth after missing out in the first 17 years of his career, though he didn't pitch in any of the four games against the Cardinals in the NLDS.
Salary: $1.8 million
Game of the year
Entering a tie game in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Twins in the second game of a doubleheader on May 1 at Target Field. Wright pitched three scoreless innings, keeping the Dodgers in the game until they won in the 12th inning. Wright allowed one hit and one walk while striking out two to pick up the win.
Wright is now a free agent, looking to come back for a 20th season.