It looks like the battle for the final spot in the Dodgers bullpen is all but over. There have been six non-roster Dodger pitchers battling for that elusive final spot. Angel Guzman, Wil Ledezma, and Fernando Nieve were recently re-assigned to their respective minor league camps. This left the battle between John Grabow and Jamey Wright. Both pitchers had opt out clauses in their contract, that if they were not added to the 40-man roster by March 30th they can exercise their clause and become free agents. That is exactly what John Grabow did, exercising his out clause as he will look for work elsewhere.
Grabow is leaving despite having an excellent spring. In six spring games and six innings pitched, he has limited batters to a .200 batting average against, and has one walk, and seven whiffs. Grabow has not allowed an earned run this spring. Jamey Wright has been pretty good as well. Wright has a 2.25 ERA in spring innings, and has only allowed two earned runs. Grabow is a lefty though, and Wright is right- handed. It seems to me the Dodgers had already made up their minds a while ago, and are now already drawing up paperwork for Wright’s new contract. With the Dodger’s history, I wouldn’t be suprised to see Wright sign for a two-year backloaded deal. All kidding aside, the Dodgers could have used another lefty in their pen, as they will open the season with Scott Elbert as the lone lefty in the bullpen.
Wright has bounced around in recent years. He has pitched for seven different teams in his career. He had a decent year last season in Seattle. He appeared in 60 games, going 2-3 with a 3.16 ERA. He posted a 6.3 K/9 rate and a 4.0 walk rate. He will have to limit his walks if he wants to stick around for the Dodgers.
Wright should provide the Dodgers with long man/spot start/middle relief work. I wonder if Ted Lilly’s rusty neck contributed to the Dodgers decision regarding Wright? Wright may not be around long anyways, as someone is expected to be cut once Ronald Belisario returns from his 25-game suspension.
As for Grabow, he will take his belongings and look for work elsewhere. I predict he will land with someone, as he had a very strong spring. I think the Dodgers missed out on this one. However for Wright, it seems like he has survived the axe and will live to pitch another day.