The Dodgers before Tuesday’s game against the Nationals swapped arms in the bullpen, recalling left-hander Garrett Cleavinger from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned Reyes Moronta.
That may sound familiar to you if you are a subscriber to the Leading Off with True Blue LA podcast, as I mentioned this as a possible move on this morning’s episode.
Cleavinger has been pitching well the last two months in Triple-A, putting up a 2.42 ERA and 38.5-percent strikeout rate since the last time he was sent down. The one drawback has been a high walk rate (12.8 percent), but for the most part he’s been pitching well, on the season holding right-handers to a lower OPS (.645) than lefties (.766).
This is the fourth stint in the majors this season for Cleavinger, who made the opening day roster. He pitched in three games for the Dodgers earlier this season, allowing a run in 2⅔ innings, with four strikeouts and two walks.
In addition to being a fresh arm, having last pitched Saturday, Cleavinger brings more roster flexibility. He’s been optioned three times this season, but his first two times sent down came before May 2, the delayed date from which options would start counting this season, for purposes of the five-option limit, to account for the lockout-shortened spring training.
Moronta has a 4.67 ERA and 3.79 xERA in 16 games with the Dodgers this season, with 20 strikeouts and eight walks in 17⅓ innings.
Two of those walks came Monday night in a bizarre eighth inning for Moronta, who also uncorked a pair of wild pitches and hit a batter, but also struck out three to escape without a run scoring.
Moronta has the lowest average leverage index among any Dodgers reliever to appear in more than three games.
It’s been a rough patch for the last month or so for Moronta, who has allowed four home runs and five walks in his last six appearances, allowing seven runs in 5⅓ innings. That came after allowing only two runs in his first 10 games, with 14 strikeouts and three walks in 12 innings.
This is the fourth time Moronta has been optioned this season.
In other bullpen news, you can adjust your calendars accordingly for a potential Blake Treinen return.
#Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said “there was no setback” with Blake Treinen, but he won’t face hitters for a couple more weeks now. That means he won’t return by mid-August. He threw a bullpen session today.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) July 26, 2022
Treinen is on the 60-day injured list with right shoulder discomfort, and last pitched for the Dodgers on April 14.