The Dodgers announced they’ve designated Edwin Uceta for assignment. The move became necessary when the club selected the contract of utilityman Andy Burns to replace injured third baseman Justin Turner ahead of tonight’s Game 5 of the NLCS.
Uceta has generally been viewed as one of the better pitching prospects in the Dodgers system over the past few seasons. The right-hander posted strong numbers up through Double-A, working primarily as a starting pitcher up until this year. Both Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs and Baseball America suggested Uceta could yet settle in as a capable back-of-the-rotation arm. While he has never thrown especially hard, public prospect evaluators have credited him with solid secondary offerings and control.
Selected to the 40-man roster last winter, Uceta split this season between Los Angeles and Triple-A Oklahoma City. He worked mostly in relief at both stops. Over 20 1/3 big league frames, Uceta pitched to a 6.64 ERA, offsetting a strong 27.2% strikeout rate with an elevated 13% walk percentage. It was a similar story with OKC, as he tossed 38 2/3 frames of 4.71 ERA ball with plenty of punchouts (29.5%) but a few too many free passes (10.1%).
The Dodgers will place Uceta on waivers over the coming days. Between his prospect pedigree, youth, and bat-missing abilities, Uceta could be an appealing flier for another club. He still has two minor league option years remaining, meaning any claiming team could shuttle Uceta back-and-forth between the majors and Triple-A through the end of the 2023 season if he sticks on their 40-man roster.