LOS ANGELES -- An interesting name popped up as minor league rosters have been announced in the last few days. The Dodgers acquired minor league right-handed pitcher Jorge De Leon from the Cubs on Sunday, and added him to the preliminary roster for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The 27-year-old Dominican converted from middle infield to pitcher in 2010, which means he should fit right in with the Dodgers.
Converted position players litter the Dodgers bullpen, from Kenley Jansen to Chris Hatcher to Pedro Baez. Even Joel Peralta was an outfielder more than a decade and a half ago, and if we expand to Triple-A we can count former shortstop Sergio Santos, too.
De Leon is familiar with Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, having played for Oklahoma City in parts of each of the last two systems while in the Astros' system. In 2014, De Leon had a 3.03 ERA in 46 games, with 61 strikeouts and 23 walks in 68⅔ innings across Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A.
He signed a minor league contract with the Cubs in January.
He pitched for the Astros in parts of the last two seasons, putting up a 5.19 ERA in 19 games, with 10 strikeouts and 10 walks in 17⅓ innings. In his brief time in the majors his fastball has averaged 96 mph and his slider between 86-88 mph, per Brooks Baseball.
As then-Oklahoma City manager Tony DeFrancesco told then-Astros manager Bo Porter when De Leon was first called up in 2013 (per MLB.com), "Look, this guy's been throwing the mess out of the ball, a mid-90s fastball and a put-away slider."
Here is video of De Leon pitching for Double-A last May:
De Leon used one option year, in 2013. He is not currently on the 40-man roster.