Dodgers News: LA Takes a Shot on Veteran Pitcher on Minor League Deal
Whenever a player is let go from a team, immediate fear seeps into their life. What happens next? Will they ever get another chance at playing in the major leagues again? Luckily the Dodgers are prone to giving most talent a shot.
Earlier this week, Los Angeles gave right-handed pitcher Keone Kela a second chance at making this dream a reality by signing him to a minor league contract according to according to MLB’s transactions page.
Keone Kela, who had TJ in May ‘21, was signed by the Dodgers, and was assigned to OKC. When he was healthy, his 95 mph 4S and his CB nearly mirrored spin, with the CB showing some SSW. pic.twitter.com/RRcoFi4B5F
— Josh Thomas (@jokeylocomotive) September 1, 2022
The road for the Socal native has not been as glamorous and easy as it may seem for other Los Angeles stars.
Kela grew up in the city of LA but moved to Seattle during his time in high school. Although he primarily played in the outfield, the Rangers took notice of his strong arm and turned him into a pitcher.
It worked out for him for a few years but not much longer after that. From 2017-2019, the veteran posted a 2.84 ERA with an 11.2 K/9 during his time with the Rangers and Pirates.
2019 is when things started to get a little messy. Between some injuries and two suspensions, Kela’s game was not at its best for quite some time. In 2020, his season was cut short by injury then he was elected from free agency with San Diego before the 2021 season. Kela only took the mound 12 times with the Padres before Tommy John took him out of the game.
The now 29-year-old received surgery last May and had been working his way back when the Diamondbacks invited Kela to spring training but without a guaranteed roster spot. Although the change and fresh start seemed like a good thing at the time, his journey with the Arizona Diamondbacks was short-lived.
He threw three innings in Reno with the triple-A squad collecting 11 K’s but allowed five walks and two home runs resulting in a 5.00 ERA and some walking papers.
On August 31st, Los Angeles had signed Kela to a minor-league contract where he would then be assigned to Oklahoma City.
Friday, the right handed pitcher had been activated from the reserve list and could be making an appearance in Dodger uniform soon.
It’s also worth noting that since he was picked up before September 1st, the major league veteran could be eligible to make an appearance for Los Angeles if needed.
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NEXT: Dave Roberts Addresses Poor Timing with Injuries
It’s the suspensions that give me pause. He was clearly a negative influence at points earlier in his career. Has he matured? Has his time away from the game improved how he “plays with others?” Those are the questions.