An 11th round draft pick in 2010, Grant Dayton made his Major League debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers in July 2016. He went on to log 26.1 innings that season, and posted a 2.05 ERA, 2.96 FIP and 0.76 WHIP with 39 strikeouts to six walks.
With his surprising success, Dayton earned roster spots on the National League Division and Championship Series, where he yielded three runs in 3.1 frames. The 30-year-old proceeded to make his first Opening Day roster in 2017 after a successful showing in Spring Training.
Dayton didn’t allow a run over his first six innings of the season, but suffered a brief injury that required him to make a rehab appearance with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He rejoined the Major League squad at the end of April and finished the month with a 2.25 ERA and 0.88 WHIP over eight innings.
The southpaw lost his effectiveness in May, allowing five runs in four innings, which resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Dayton found his way back to Los Angeles at the start of June and pitched to a minuscule 1.74 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 10.1 innings for the month.
Unfortunately for Dayton, a severe elbow injury limited him to just 1.2 Major League innings in July. After further examination, he opted for Tommy John surgery — ending his 2017 campaign, and in all likelihood, his 2018 season as well.
All-in-all, Dayton put up a 4.94 ERA, 5.74 FIP and 1.31 WHIP in 23.2 innings for the Dodgers. He held opposing left-handed hitters to a .171/.271/.341 slash line.
On May 11, Dayton tossed a perfect eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field — picking up two strikeouts in the process. The Dodgers, however, wound up losing the contest by a final score of 10-7.
As a result of a roster crunch, Dayton was claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Braves in November. While he likely won’t contribute for the club next season, the Alabama native is under team control through the 2022 season.
Should he successfully recover from elbow surgery, Dayton figures to provide the Braves a reliable left-handed option out of the bullpen for the foreseeable future.