Dodgers Bullpen: A Closer Look at Yency Almonte

In the latest move on the Los Angeles pitching carousel, the Dodgers on Thursday afternoon selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Yency Almonte after optioning Ryan Pepiot back to triple-A Oklahoma City.

The 24-year-old Pepiot made his debut for the Dodgers on Wednesday in the series finale against the Pirates, taking a no-decision after throwing three full scoreless innings with five walks and three punchouts.

The 6-foot-5, 27-year-old Almonte joins the big-league club after making 11 relief appearances for OKC this season and posting an 0-1 record with a 3.52 ERA.

The Dodgers signed Almonte in a flurry of minor league fringe acquisitions when the league was shut down over the winter. The Miami native and former 17th round pick of the Anaheim Angels in 2012 was among those invited by the Dodgers to the big-league side of 2022 spring training.

Almonte made all his MLB appearances for the Colorado Rockies in a stretch from 2018-21, producing a 4-4 record with a 5.30 ERA over 114 appearances. His best year as a big leaguer came in 2020 when he made 24 relief appearances and posted a 2.93 ERA with 23 punchouts and six walks over 27-2/3 innings.

One of his biggest strengths is keeping the ball inside the park. In 2019, he allowed just 0.7 homers per nine innings pitched.

Almonte struggled in 2019 with a 5.56 ERA, but he turned things around in 2020, posting a 4.18 xFIP and 3.74 SIERA, all of which greatly improved from the year before. He was much better at limiting meaningful contact, as he had a better groundball rate in 2020 (56.3%) compared to 2019 (32.1%). Almonte also had a hard-hit rate of 37.0% and an above-average 3.9%-barrel rate.

Almonte’s average fastball velocity dipped to 94.8 mph in 2020, and he became more reliant on his off-speed pitches. Even with the changes in his pitch selection, he saw a slight increase to a 20.4 K%, and his BB% improved from 8.9% in 2019 to 5.3% in 2020. He was used in some late-game situations, converting on one of his three save chances while recording three holds.

Nevertheless, the Rockies decided to designate him for assignment after the 2021 regular season. After clearing waivers and being assigned outright to Triple-A Albuquerque last October, he chose free agency rather than remaining in the Colorado organization.

Almonte primarily uses a four-seam and a slider mixed with an occasional changeup. According to Brooks Baseball, his heater averaged a tad above 95 mph last season.

Brooksbaseball-Chart

Should Almonte make an appearance for the Dodgers in Thursday’s opener against the Phillies, he will become the 22nd pitcher the team has used so far this season.

David Price Trade Rumors and Ryan Pepiot’s Potential MLB Debut

After sweeping the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped the opening game of a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. The loss ended their six-game winning streak, as well as a 16-game winning streak against the Pirates. Such games are bound to happen, especially in an early game after a long flight.

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How Much Can Dustin May Contribute to Dodgers in 2022?

As long as we don’t see any more major trades or player acquisitions over the next few days, we can start shaping the picture of how the core of the Dodgers’ roster will look for the first few weeks of the season.

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Can Jake Lamb Earn Spot on Dodgers’ 2022 Opening Day Roster?

One of several different looks that 2022 Opening Day will see is 28 players on each club’s active roster. This rule will last through the month of April and was primarily created because of the limited time pitchers will have to prepare for the season. While many teams may load up on pitchers, each club can use these extra roster spots as they wish.

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What Lies Ahead for Gavin Lux?

One of the most fun things about spring training is watching players compete for regular playing time, especially at the positions where there’s still uncertainty. While the Dodgers have plenty of spots on the field that are locked down, there could be one or two that are decided in the final moments leading up to Opening Day.

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6 Potential DH Options for Dodgers in 2022

One of the biggest changes set to happen for the National League in 2022 is the addition of a designated hitter to game play, if indeed a collective bargaining agreement is ever reached. While there’s still a small chance the DH rule might get bumped off the final deal, the fact that it’s something both sides agree to means it will probably stand pat.

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Will Dodgers Pursue a Contract With Kenley Jansen When Lockout Ends?

While the lockout has still frozen all big-league transactions, many of us continue to speculate how the Dodgers will fill out their active roster when the players and the owners reach a new collective bargaining agreement.

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Should Dodgers Prioritize a Trea Turner Contract Extension?

With all the uncertainty that surrounds MLB’s current lockout, there still seems to be a fair amount of speculation across the baseball blogosphere, at least as far as trades and free agent signings go.

At this stage of the game, we have the faintest clue as to what might happen over the coming months. If an agreement is reached, it could be in the waning moments of the offseason, giving clubs very little time to scramble and round out their respective player rosters.

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What Would Chris Taylor’s Departure Mean for the Dodgers?

The Hot Stove season is starting to heat up in Major League Baseball, as some free agents and trades are beginning to happen.

Many think that there will be a flurry of moves before the December 1st deadline in which a new collective bargaining agreement needs to be met. New Dodger Andrew Heaney mentioned this in his decision to sign early with the team, so he could avoid that and get started on getting his pitching back on track sooner.

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Dodgers Roster: Early Thoughts on Building a Playoff Bullpen

As fans of the Dodgers, we’re often spoiled as far as perennial playoff appearances go. Los Angeles has made the postseason for eight years straight. 2021 will be no different, although we’re still not sure whether the team will need to advance past a one-game Wild Card.

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