2022 Los Angeles Dodgers Player Reviews: Garrett Cleavinger

Garrett Cleavinger was on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Opening Day roster for 2022, but that largely was due to Victor González suffering a left elbow injury and beginning the season on the injured list.

Cleavinger appeared in just one game prior to getting optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City as the corresponding roster move for Phil Bickford being recalled. That appearance came unique circumstances as Cleavinger had just entered the series opener against the Minnesota Twins before it went into a rain delay that lasted 1 hour and 28 minutes, and he remained in the game once play resumed.

Cleavinger allowed one run on two hits and recorded just two outs in the appearance. He returned to the Dodgers in late April for a second appearance of the month, but pitched just once for the team in both May and July despite being shuttled on and off the roster multiple times.

On Aug. 1, the Dodgers traded Cleavinger to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Minor League outfielder German Tapia. That closed the book on his 2022 season in Los Angeles at 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA, 5.66 FIP and 2.07 WHIP over four appearances.

Cleavinger’s ERA skyrocketed after allowing four earned runs (six total) to the Washington Nationals on July 26.

The 28-year-old enjoyed better results while with the Rays to finish out the season, going 1-0 with a 2.41 ERA and 0.64 WHIP in 13 games.

The Dodgers originally acquired the left-handed relief pitcher in December 2020 as part of a three-team trade that involved the Philadelphia Phillies and Rays. The Dodgers sent Dillon Paulson and player to be named later to the Rays, who traded Jose Alvarado to the Phillies. Philadelphia only sent out Cleavinger in the deal.

Cleavinger went 2-5 with a 4.43 ERA and 1.84 WHIP in 26 games (one start) over parts of two seasons with the Dodgers.

Garrett Cleavinger 2022 highlight

The Rays used Cleavinger as a multi-inning relief pitcher, and on four separate occasions he turned in two scoreless innings with at least three strikeouts.

2023 outlook

Cleavinger remains under team control and given his success with the Rays, he presumably will receive an opportunity to be a regular part of their bullpen next year.

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