The Dodgers had high hopes for Reyes Moronta, a non-roster invitee to spring training who quickly made it back to the big leagues. But after shuttling back and forth between the minors all season, the right-handed reliever didn’t seem to live up to those expectations.
Signed to a minor league contract in March after a flexor strain shortened his 2021 season with the Giants, Moronta made the 2022 Dodgers roster in May. He pitched in 22 games for L.A., mostly in one-inning increments of relief, and his numbers were solid: a 12.7% swinging strikeout rate, with an average of 27.6% of batters faced striking out overall, Jake Hager writes at MLB Trade Rumors. That said, Moronta also tended to give up homers and walks, walking 10.2% of batters and limiting his impact.
The Dodgers shuttled Moronta to and from the minors five times in 2022, mostly to cover for injured relievers and then make room for them again upon recovery. In 10 innings of relief with Triple-A Oklahoma City, Moronta posted a 2.70 ERA with two saves and three earned runs.
Moronta left the Dodgers for good on August 22. He was designated for assignment two days earlier to free up space for Dustin May, who was returning from the 60-day injured list, and the Arizona Diamondbacks claimed him off waivers. The reliever appeared in a total of 23 2/3 innings, with a 4.18 ERA, 27 strikeouts, and the highest home run rate on the Dodgers’ pitching staff.
Troubles continued to follow Moronta in Arizona, where he appeared in 17 games and recorded two saves but allowed seven earned runs and eight walks. The Diamondbacks non-tendered him on November 18, making him a free agent.
Stats: 4.18 ERA, 5.10 FIP, 1.141 WHIP, 27 K, 23.2 innings, 0.3 bWAR, 0.1 fWAR
Salary: $1.5 million
Game of the Year
Moronta pitched his best game with the Dodgers on June 26 against the Atlanta Braves. He appeared in two innings of relief, didn’t give up any hits, runs, or walks, and recorded three strikeouts in the Dodgers’ victory.
The Arizona Diamondbacks claimed Reyes Moronta off waivers in August, then non-tendered him in November. He is now a free agent in his second year of arbitration eligibility.