2021 was a busy season for Edwin Uceta, who racked up the frequent flyer miles going between Oklahoma City and Los Angeles. During the season, he was recalled from Triple-A seven different times. Not to mention all the times he spent on the injured list as well.
When he was up with the Dodgers, things were rough. He appeared in 14 games and posted an ERA of 6.64, 1.52 WHIP and 4.40 FIP. However, those numbers were largely due to a couple of blowup outings.
On June 20, he allowed five runs in 1.2 innings in Arizona. There were two outings in which he allowed three runs in 2⁄3 innings or less. Aside from a few of those rough appearances, Uceta actually had a good amount of relief appearances where he looked solid.
I know it’s not saying much, but he didn’t allow a run in eight of 14 appearances. With that being said, he looked pretty dominant. Over those eight outings, he threw 15 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts and three walks. For the most part, either Uceta had his stuff or he didn’t, there didn’t seem to be a middle ground.
Unfortunately, there just wasn’t any consistency. He’d allow 2-3 runs, which would be followed up by a scoreless outing or two and then he’d allow 4-5 runs. His longest stretch on the season without allowing a run was only three games, which is not ideal if you’re a relief pitcher.
He did happen to have his best three-game stretch to end his 2021 campaign, as he issued one hit in 3.2 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts.
In October, the Dodgers designated Uceta for assignment. He was claimed by the DBacks shortly after.
Stats: 0-3, 6.64 ERA, 20.1 IP, 25 K, 12 BB, 4.40 FIP, 1.525 WHIP, 63 ERA+, 11.1 SO/9, 5.3 BB/9, -0.5 bWAR
Game of the year
His best showing game in his final game with the Dodgers. On August 15, the Dodgers blew out the Mets 14-4 in New York. Uceta tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. He didn’t allow a hit and he had three strikeouts.
It was actually one of the rare outings in which a relief pitcher has more base hits than they allow. With the game out of reach for the Mets, Uceta hit for himself. Since there’s no video due to the lockout, I’ll have to try and base this off memory. I believe he reached with an infield single that went maybe 15 feet. Still, a hit is a hit and it was the first (and potentially only) of his big-league career.
Uceta was claimed off waivers by the Diamondbacks at the end of October.