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Dodgers add Joe Thatcher to veteran minor league pitching depth

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have added another veteran pitcher on a minor league contract, signing left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, who is expected to join Triple-A Oklahoma City at some point this week.

Thatcher, 34, opted out of his minor league contract with the Indians in March at the end of spring training and was released by Cleveland. He had a 3.18 ERA and 3.00 FIP in 43 appearances with the Astros in 2015, with 26 strikeouts and 12 walks in 22⅔ innings.

Left-handed batters hit .245/.365/.321 against the side-winding Hatcher in 2015, and in his career have hit .232/.298/.348 against him.

Used almost exclusively as a true LOOGY (Left-handed One Out GuY) with Houston, 18 of his 43 appearances were to just one batter, and he averaged barely over a half-inning per game.

Thatcher joins a group of veteran relief pitchers signed to minor league deals by the Dodgers since the end of spring training. Sam LeCure, who turns 32 in May and has 240 major league relief appearances to his credit, has been stretched out as a starter with Triple-A Oklahoma City, pitching nine scoreless innings in two starts to date.

Left-handed reliever Sean Burnett, 33, has appeared in three games for Oklahoma City, while right-hander Dale Thayer, 35, has pitched twice so far for Double-A Tulsa.

Thatcher has a 3.38 career ERA and 3.19 FIP in 405 games, all in relief, with 270 strikeouts and 91 walks in 260⅔ innings.