The Dodgers released left-hander Randy Choate and right-hander Matt West at the start of the month, Eric Stephen of the True Blue LA blog reports. Neither pitcher appeared in the big leagues in 2016, with Choate tossing 17 2/3 innings at three levels of the Dodgers’ farm system while West threw 46 relief innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Choate posted a 7.13 ERA, 10.2 K/9 and 2.5 K/BB rate this season, though that inflated ERA is somewhat misleading. Choate has been strictly a lefty specialist for years in the bigs, yet in the minors, he actually faced more right-handed batters (who had a whopping 1.143 OPS against him in 43 PA) than he did left-handed batters (who managed just a .578 OPS in 41 PA).
It’s probably unlikely, though not totally out of the question, that a team looking for southpaw bullpen depth down the stretch could sign Choate with an eye towards using him in his old LOOGY role. Choate signed his minor league deal with the Dodgers in June after he was released by the Blue Jays in Spring Training, and (this is purely speculation on my part) Toronto stands out as one contender who has struggled to find effective left-handed relief pitching this season. If Choate does manage to catch on somewhere and appear in a big league game, the 41-year-old will have officially played in parts of 16 Major League seasons.
West, 27, had a strong year at Triple-A, posting a 2.33 ERA, 7.4 K/9 and 4.75 K/BB over his 46 frames. A second-round pick for Texas in the 2007 draft, West converted from infielder to pitcher in 2011 and has a 3.54 ERA over 203 2/3 career innings in the minors. He had cups of coffee with the Rangers (three games) in 2014 and the Dodgers (two games) in 2015.