LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers claimed right-handed pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla off waivers from the Rangers on Wednesday, in a long-term depth play for the team.
The 25-year-old right-hander had Tommy John surgery on April 17, and will likely be out until midseason 2016. As such, the Dodgers placed Bonilla on the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster, a roster crunch issue they will not have to deal with until after the World Series.
Bonilla had a cup of coffee in the majors in September 2014 with Texas, putting up a 3.05 ERA in five games, including three starts, with 17 strikeouts and 12 walks in 20⅔ innings.
In six minor league seasons, Bonilla struck out 27.1 percent of his batters faced, while walking 7.8 percent. In 2014 in Triple-A, those numbers were 29 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.
Bonilla's four-seam fastball averaged 92.93 mph in 2014 while in the majors, per Brooks Baseball. In September 2014, Bonilla's changeup was highlighted by Eno Sarris at Fangraphs:
It’s even better when you get into the pitch types. On Brooks, it looks like Bonilla has gotten a whiff on 31% of his changeups! An eight mph difference and two inches of drop on a straight changeup, that’ll do, it seems. 108 sinkers in is no tiny sample, either. 65 sliders have gotten a 12.3% whiff rate, giving him an average breaker. Between the three pitches sits 12 mph of velocity gap, and with a four-inch drop on his slider (almost curve-like), he’s got a nice range of vertical movement, too.
Originally signed as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic by the Phillies in 2008, Bonilla was traded by Philadelphia along with old friend Josh Lindblom to Texas in December 2012 for future old friend Michael Young, making this transaction an old friend full circle.
Bonilla has one year, 27 days of service time, and made $509,000 in 2015. He has two option years remaining, having used one in 2014.
This is the second waiver claim the Dodgers have made this month, also claiming right-hander Brooks Brown from Colorado on Oct. 14.
As of now, the Dodgers have 45 players on their 40-man roster, including five players on the 60-day disabled list.