The Dodgers on Wednesday added another pitcher to the organization with the waiver claim of Ryan Dennick from the Reds. Here is a little more information about the 28-year-old left-hander, who was optioned to Double-A Tulsa on Wednesday.
The Reds picked up Dennick from the Royals in the minor league portion of the 2012 Rule 5 Draft, then tried to convert him to starter after pitching 118 of his 123 games in Kansas City's system in relief.
Dennick in 2013 had a 3.55 ERA in 19 games for Double-A Pensacola, with 66 strikeouts and 26 walks in 104 innings. After getting promoted to Triple-A Louisville that year he allowed nine runs in 13 innings before being shifted to the bullpen for his final five games of the season.
He remained in relief for all of 2014 and thrived with a 2.34 ERA in 58 games, all but one at Triple-A Louisville, with 40 strikeouts and 18 walks in 53 innings. Dennick increased his strikeout rate from 15.2 percent in 2013 to 19.3 percent in 2014.
"The thing that's kind of interesting more than anything – he was a guy that jumped off the statistical page in Triple-A," Reds manager told C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer last September. "He led the team in appearances, his ERA was under 2.50, he was a strike thrower and had some success against left-handed hitters as well as right handed hitters, so he's not simply a match-up pitcher."
Dennick in 2014 in the minors allowed left-handed batters to hit just .207/.263/.261, with 25 strikeouts and six walks, but he also held right-handers to hit just .269/.349/.333, with 15 strikeouts and 12 walks.
That earned him his first major league call-up in September, with the Reds. He pitched in eight games, allowing seven runs on seven hits in 4⅔ innings, with four walks and three strikeouts. In his major league debut, he struck out one in a scoreless inning.
In his albeit limited major league duty last year, Dennick averaged 91.02 mph on his fastball and mixed in a slider and changeup, per Brooks Baseball, which also compared him to other left-handed pitchers:
His fourseam fastball generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' fourseamers and has essentially average velo. His slider has primarily 12-6 movement and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sliders. His change is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers' changeups and has slight cut action.
During his September stint, Dennick got some rookie hazing out of the way, thanks in part to second baseman Brandon Phillips:
[Dennick is in the bottom right, the Bobby Brady square, if you will]
In two games with Triple-A Louisville this year before getting designated for assignment on Monday, Dennick allowed three runs on four hits in 2⅔ innings with Triple-A Louisville, though he also struck out five with no walks.