The Dodgers announced Monday that they’ve claimed catcher Anthony Bemboom off waivers from the Angels and right-hander Conner Greene off waivers from the Orioles. In order to open space on the 40-man roster, Los Angeles transferred left-handers Danny Duffy and Clayton Kershaw to the 60-day injured list. The “60-day” minimum on those IL stints for Duffy and Kershaw begin with their initial placement on the IL — July 20 for Duffy and July 7 for Kershaw. Duffy would be eligible to return on Sept. 18 and Kershaw on Sept. 5.
Bemboom, 31, has batted .213/.302/.347 in 88 plate appearances with the Angels over the past two seasons. He’s also logged some very brief big league time with the Rays. While Bemboom hasn’t hit much in the Majors through a small sample’s worth of career games, he’s a .256/.349/.410 hitter in parts of five Triple-A seasons. He also boasts an excellent 35 percent caught-stealing rate behind the dish and has been credited with solid framing marks at Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs and Statcast.
The Angels designated Bemboom for assignment over the weekend when claiming fellow catcher Chad Wallach off waivers from the Marlins. Bemboom will now head to the Dodgers and provide some experienced depth for a club that just traded away top catching prospect Keibert Ruiz in the Max Scherzer/Trea Turner blockbuster.
Greene, 26, made his Major League debut with the Orioles this season but was hit hard in 3 2/3 innings. The former Blue Jays, Royals and Cardinals minor leaguer surrendered six runs on seven hits and a walk with five strikeouts in his short time with the O’s and has had a similarly rough go of it in Triple-A this year (7.09 ERA in 20 2/3 frames).
That said, Greene averaged nearly 96 mph with his heater with the Orioles and posted strong swinging-strike and opponents’ chase rates. Greene was a prospect of note for several years, drawing 70 grades on his heater and 55s and 60s on his changeup (on the 20-80 scale). He’s had control problems throughout his minor league tenure (11.2 percent walk rate), but the Dodgers are ostensibly intrigued by his raw stuff and may have their own ideas about how to maximize his potential. Greene can be optioned for the rest of the season but will be out of minor league options in 2022.
The news of Kershaw moving to the 60-day IL shouldn’t be a huge surprise after manager Dave Roberts recently said he expected his left-hander to be out until September. Duffy’s move to the 60-day IL, however, is a bit more surprising. Royals general manager Dayton Moore said not long before trading Duffy to the Dodgers that he expected the southpaw to return sometime in mid-August. The Dodgers were of course able to perform their own assessment of Duffy’s medicals and were aware of the risk of a lengthier absence, but they were still probably hoping to get Duffy back on the mound sooner than this. If the remainder of his rehab from a flexor strain goes well, Duffy can still be an option for the season’s final few weeks and a bullpen candidate in the postseason.