The Dodgers announced that they’ve selected the contract of right-hander Zach Neal from Triple-A Oklahoma City and designated just-acquired right-hander Jesus Liranzo for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Righty Josh Fields was placed on the paternity list to open a spot for Neal on the active roster.
The 23-year-old Liranzo has yet to appear at the Major League level, although Baseball America ranked him 19th among Orioles farmhands this offseason. Liranzo isn’t lacking for velocity and has the upside of a quality bullpen piece, but he’s struggled with control throughout his pro career, including last season when he averaged six walks per nine innings pitched and posted an unsightly 4.85 ERA in 65 Double-A innings with the Orioles’ Bowie affiliate.
[Related: Updated Los Angeles Dodgers depth chart]
Los Angeles only just added Liranzo in exchange for minor league left-hander Luis Ysla. It seems that their hope is that Liranzo will clear waivers and remain with the organization, though that’s hardly a given.
Neal, meanwhile, tossed 84 2/3 frames for the A’s from 2016-17, working to a 4.89 ERA with just 3.9 K/9 against a pristine 0.7 BB/9 and a 50.8 percent ground-ball rate. Neal barely averages 90 mph on his fastball, but he’s posted superlative walk rates throughout the minors, helping to compensate for his lack of missed bats. Opponents have had trouble squaring the ball up against Neal as well, as can be seen with a 26.6 percent hard-contact rate that falls well south of the league-average 31.6 percent across the past two seasons.