The Dodgers have designated Triple-A right-hander Joe Gunkel for assignment, reports J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (Twitter link). His 40-man spot will go to vaunted prospect Cody Bellinger, who will make his Major League debut tonight in left field for the Dodgers. To clear a spot for Bellinger on the 25-man roster, the Dodgers optioned outfielder Brett Eibner back to Triple-A Oklahoma City, per Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
Gunkel has a solid minor league track record, having tossed 104 1/3 innings with a 2.59 ERA, 6.0 K/9 and a strong 1.3 BB/9 rate for the Orioles’ Double-A affiliate in 2015. The 2016 season wasn’t as strong for Gunkel, though he did still post a 4.02 ERA with 6.1 K/9 against 1.2 BB/9 in 161 innings between Baltimore’s Double-A and Triple-A affiliates. Baltimore designated Gunkel for assignment earlier this month to clear a spot on the roster for hard-throwing reliever Miguel Castro after picking him up from the Rockies. Shortly thereafter, he was flipped to the Dodgers for cash or a player to be named later.