LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers on Tuesday claimed right-handed pitcher Cory Mazzoni from the Cubs and with the corresponding move of designating outfielder Trayce Thompson for assignment have moved one step closer to finalizing the opening day roster.
Mazzoni, 28, saw limited time in the majors in 2015 and 2017 with the Padres, and the results were disastrous. In 14 major league relief appearances totaling 16⅔ innings the right-hander allowed 38 runs (32 earned) on 40 hits, including seven home runs, for a gaudy 17.28 ERA and 8.97 FIP, with 12 strikeouts and nine walks.
After missing the first three months of 2017 on the minor league disabled list with a shoulder injury, Mazzoni was lights out in Triple-A, posting a 0.89 ERA with 31 strikeouts and just three walks in 20⅓ innings for El Paso.
Mazzoni, the former second-round pick of the Mets in 2011, was claimed off waivers from the Padres by the Cubs in November. He posted a 9.72 ERA in eight Cactus League games with Chicago, with eight strikeouts and three walks in 8⅓ innings, with two home runs allowed.
Mazzoni used options in 2016 and 2017 and has one option year remaining. The Dodgers will option him to Triple-A Oklahoma City. He has 76 days of major league service time.
The Dodgers will have seven days to trade or release Thompson, or if he clears waivers can send him outright to Triple-A. The move clears up the opening day roster a bit, with the only two real decisions remaining for the Dodgers the choice of left-handed left fielder (Andrew Toles, Joc Pederson) and the final bench spot, for which Thompson was battling Kyle Farmer.
Thompson hit .255/.271/.362 (12-for-47) with two doubles, a home run, one walk and 16 strikeouts this spring.
“The care, the compete is always there. When you’re not starting every day, it’s tough on anybody,” manager Dave Roberts said of Thompson on Saturday. “He’s handled it as good as anyone could handle it. But to not have clarity on your fate, that’s tough for any player.”
Thompson, who missed the final three months of 2016 with a broken back and spent all the next offseason unable to work his usual routine. A disastrous 2017 season followed, including a 6-for-49 (.122) stint in the majors, but he was upbeat heading into this spring after a fully healthy winter.
“I know when I’m healthy what I can do, and I think they know it. I just have to go out and prove it,” Thompson said at the beginning of spring camp. “It’s tough for a lot of us, but it’s a business.”