Los Angeles Dodgers Add More Versatility and Depth with Early Signings

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Early Signings
GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 05: Pat Venditte #61 of the Seattle Mariners, a switch-pitcher, delivers a right handed pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth inning during the spring training game at Camelback Ranch on March 5, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

The “Hot Stove” season has not yet begun to warm up, and the Los Angeles Dodgers front office is already adding more versatility and depth to the organization. Contingency plans, layered in a web of next steps and what-ifs. There may not be an organization in all of baseball with as much depth as the Dodgers. This time around, the Dodgers added an ambidextrous pitcher and a recovering right-handed pitcher with tremendous upside potential.

Los Angeles Dodgers Add More Versatility and Depth with Early Signings

Pat Venditte and Jesen Therrien have reportedly been signed by the Dodgers organization to minor league contracts. Both hurlers have made their respective major league debuts already. Vendette shut down the Boston Red Sox on one hit in two innings in 2015. Therrien broke in with a scoreless inning versus the Atlanta Braves in July of this season.

Switch Pitch

Pat Venditte creates possible match-up problems for opposing managers. The ability to “switch pitch” is unique to the 32-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska. Not only does Venditte throw pitches with both arms, he also throws from different arm slots as well. When pitching right-handed, he throws either over the top, or side-arm. The southpaw side of him throws exclusively from a submarine angle. Venditte, who has thrown over 50 big league innings, may be in Dodger blue in 2018. However, it will more than likely be in Oklahoma City, not in Los Angeles.

Not Until 2019

Jesen Therrien will not pitch in 2018. The Canadian, from Montreal, had season-ending surgery on his ulnar collateral ligament in mid-September. This move is for the future, to provide bullpen depth in 2019 and possibly beyond. The Dodgers front office, who may know more about Therrien’s medical records than he actually does, made a calculated investment in this hard-throwing RHP. The medical staff in Los Angeles did their due diligence to ensure Therrien was worth the risk. His stuff is not in question, a mid 90’s fastball, a nasty slider along with a splitter to complete his repertoire. Perhaps that is why other MLB teams were also reportedly interested in his acquisition despite his injury and timetable.

Dodgers Front Office

Strategically minded, the Dodger front office picks up an anomaly, and a possible late-inning bullpen option (in 2019) to begin the off-season moves. Let the transactions, acquisitions and trades begin. Baseball’s Winter Meetings should provide at least a few more moves of interest to the L.A. faithful. Dodger fans, hungry for that elusive World Series title, will be watching closely.

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